January 10, 2019 / 8:59 PM / 7 days ago

Virgin Atlantic nears takeover of Flybe - Sky News

FILE PHOTO: An airport worker examines a flybe aircraft before it takes off from Liverpool John Lennon Airport in Liverpool northern England, May 19 , 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - British regional airline Flybe Group Plc (FLYB.L) is close to being taken over by a consortium led by Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, Sky News reported on Thursday.

An offer for Flybe worth significantly less than the company’s closing share price on Thursday of 16.38 pence will be announced to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, Sky said, citing sources close to the deal.

Virgin Atlantic has agreed to team up with Stobart Group Ltd (STOB.L), Flybe's other suitor, to form a new company that will also include the Stobart Air franchise operation, the report bit.ly/2H8t3jM said.

Virgin Atlantic, Flybe and Stobart were not immediately available for comment on the report outside regular business hours. Virgin Atlantic said last month it was looking at a range of options for Flybe, including a takeover offer.

(This story corrects date of previous Virgin comment on Flybe in final paragraph)

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey

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