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Greybull Capital close to checking in with Monarch Airlines

BY Rachel | 3 May, 2014 | no comments

A rescue of Monarch Airlines has a “50-50” chance of emerging in the coming week, a source close to negotiations with potential buyers said last night.

He was responding to reports that Greybull Capital, a secretive investment fund for the Meyohas family and others, was in pole position to enter exclusive talks to buy Monarch, probably for a nominal sum, thus saving the jobs of an unspecified number of the airline’s 3,300-strong workforce.

The Mantegazza family, which has bankrolled Monarch since it was founded in 1968, has refused to absorb further losses at the airline, which has a £158 million hole in its pension fund. The company is in talks with unions and the pensions regulator over cuts in salaries and pension payouts.

Any deal with Greybull, which was involved in the controversial collapse of the Comet retail chain two years ago at the cost of 6,500 jobs, would require the Mantegazzas to put in about £70 million, which it is understood they are prepared to do. The Swiss family, whose wealth is estimated at $4.5 billion, have twice injected funds into Monarch to keep it afloat.

PwC, the accountant, is advising the company and standing by in case it is forced into administration. One source close to the talks said: “I think we are close to getting to a place where we can find some exclusivity with Greybull. I think that the deal will happen.”

Greybull could not be reached for comment.