Flybe Group has agreed to demands from its largest shareholder to call a general meeting in aid of removing chairman Simon Laffin and adding airline industry veteran Eric Kohn to the board, the company said today.
The UK budget carrier last week rejected as invalid a request by Hosking Partners asking to oust Laffin, appoint Kohn and allow him to conduct an investigation of its cut-price sale to a consortium led by Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic.
It said today it had now received a valid request and would call a shareholders meeting within 21 days from February 1, as well as interview Kohn before making a recommendation on his candidacy for the board.
It reiterated that its articles of association do not confer on members the necessary powers to investigate the sale.
Hosking, which owns about nearly 19% of Flybe, according to Refinitv Eikon data, said last week that it was concerned with the decline in the company's value in recent months and the board's handling of the sale process.
Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital agreed to buy Flybe for an initial £2.2m, a far cry from its £215m valuation when it joined the London Stock Exchange in 2010.
The offer of only one pence in cash for each Flybe share was a 94% discount to the previous day's close.
The consortium agreed to pump in as much as £100m to keep the airline aloft and four days later revised the deal to include the sale of the main trading company, Flybe Ltd, and Flybe.com for £2.8m.