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Flybe bats off shareholder’s bid to replace chairman

The airline said Hosking, its largest shareholder, has not made a valid request.

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Flybe is fending off efforts by its largest shareholder to replace its chairman (PA)

Flybe is fending off efforts by its largest shareholder to replace its chairman (PA)

Flybe is fending off efforts by its largest shareholder to replace its chairman (PA)

Flybe has shot down an investor’s bid to oust the airline’s chairman, saying its request is not valid.

Hosking, which is the biggest shareholder in the company, had requested Flybe convene a general meeting to consider resolutions to replace chairman Simon Laffin with Eric Kohn.

Management at the airline, which is being taken over by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and investment firm Cyrus Capital Partners, said the request must come directly from a registered shareholder, whereas Hosking owns its stake through various nominee companies.

The airline has invited Hosking to make a new request in compliance with the regulations.

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Flybe chairman Simon Laffin (PA)

Flybe chairman Simon Laffin (PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Flybe chairman Simon Laffin (PA)

Flybe added company rules also prevent the investor’s request to have Mr Kohn investigate the sale process as this cannot be compelled to happen through a shareholder vote.

Hosking objects to the deal, in which Flybe will be sold for 1p a share.

In a statement to the market on Wednesday, Flybe said: “The board reaffirms that it has acted at all times in the interests of its shareholders and all its stakeholders through an extremely difficult and challenging period.”

The company has previously offered its public backing to Mr Laffin and said “any independent scrutiny of its conduct will support the board’s decision-making”.

Under the terms of the deal, the buyers – known collectively as the Connect Airways consortium – will pay £2.8 million to take control of the main trading company Flybe and the online arm Flybe.com in a deal set to complete by February 22.

It will later complete the purchase of the wider holding company for 1p a share.

PA Media