Herbert Smith Freehills has assisted Virgin Atlantic and the Connect Airways consortium in securing a European Commission conditional Phase I clearance today for the acquisition of the airline Flybe, by Connect Airways*. The Herbert Smith Freehills team had previously obtained a derogation from the European merger stand-still provisions, allowing Connect Airways to acquire Flybe's shares prior to merger clearance.
The acquisition of Flybe (the UK's largest regional airline) by Connect Airways completed on 21 February 2019, following the satisfaction of conditions precedent to the sale and purchase agreement.
The Herbert Smith Freehills competition and regulatory team was led by partners Kim Dietzel and Veronica Roberts, supported by associates Clémence Barraud, Philip Aitken, Alex White, Jade Van Parijs and Victoria Newbold. The firm has also advised on all aspects of the transaction, including M&A, Finance, Pensions and Intellectual Property.
The firm is also advising Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic on the landmark expanded transatlantic joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines and sale of 31 per cent. of Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM by Virgin Group.
*Connect Airways is a joint venture company owned by Virgin Atlantic, the Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital.