Flybe announces LSE listing

REGIONAL UK airline Flybe has announced it is planning to list in London in December to raise about £60m.

The initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange would value the budget carrier, the largest regional airline in Europe, at about £240m.

In a statement the company said the flotation proceeds would provide capital to grow its fleet of aircraft and strengthen its cash position to give it greater “strategic flexibility to pursue additional growth opportunities, including acquisitions.

"A listing will assist Flybe in achieving the next stage in its ... strategy for growth," the airline's chief executive Jim French said in a statement.

Flybe focuses on short-haul and niche UK routes and carried more than seven million passengers last year.

It bought BA’s regional UK business, BA Connect, in 2007 and BA owns 15 per cent of the company.

It has tried to float on several occasions but tough market conditions have forced it to shelve the plans.

It has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch as sole global coordinator and bookrunner on the offer.