Flybe confirms Hoskings approach to oust chairman | Business News

Flybe has confirmed a Sky News report that the company has been approached by Hosking Partners to set in motion the replacement of the low-cost airline’s chairman of five years.

Sky News reported on Saturday that Hosking Partners wrote to Flybe on Friday to call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) aimed at ousting chairman Simon Laffin.

The fund management firm run by Jeremy Hosking, a prominent investor, wants to install Eric Kohn, an experienced aviation executive, in Mr Laffin’s place.

Flybe said confirmed early on Monday that it had “received correspondence from Hosking Partners LLP to this effect” last week.

It said the correspondence also included “a proposed resolution that the Directors appoint Mr Kohn to investigate the sales process from 14 November 2018 to 15 January 2019.”

Flybe chairman Simon Laffin
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Flybe chairman Simon Laffin faces calls by investor Hosking Partners to step down

“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.

Flybe said its board “continued to have full confidence” in Mr Laffin as chairman.

The investigation relates to the sale process run by Flybe’s board which resulted in vastly discounted 1p-a-share offer from a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium called Connect Airways being recommended earlier this month.

Just four days later, Flybe restructured the deal to sell the regional carrier’s main assets for just £2.8m in a transaction which does not require shareholder approval.

The other investors in Connect Airways, the company formed to acquire Flybe, are Stobart Group – which tabled a separate bid for the airline early last year – and Cyrus Capital Partners, an investment firm.

Hosking, which owns nearly 19% of Flybe, initially expressed doubts about the takeover in a letter that accused directors of breaching their duties to investors and warned that it could seek an injunction to try to block the deal.

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