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Greybull Capital buys UK’s Monarch-Reuters

(Reuters) – British holidays and airline company Monarch has been acquired by investment firm Greybull Capital which will pump 125 million pounds ($201 million) into the company as it turns itself into a budget airline.

Greybull took a 90 percent stake in Monarch, with the rest passing to its pension scheme, the two firms said in a statement released late on Friday.

The agreement will help Monarch take on budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.

The deal brings to an end the ownership of Monarch by the Mantegazza family. It founded the firm in the 1960s and has invested 115 million pounds in it over the last five years. The family will make an unspecified contribution to the new funding.

Greybull, which reportedly provided backing for the acquisition of British high street electronics chain Comet before its collapse in 2012, considers its ownership of Monarch to be a long-term investment, the statement said.

As part of its plan to shift to a budget airline model from its current charter flights operation, Monarch is shrinking its fleet to 34 from 42 aircraft, ending long-haul and charter flights by April and focusing on core European routes.

Agreement had been reached with workers for pay cuts of up to 30 percent and 700 redundancies, the statement said.

Monarch confirmed it would buy from Boeing 30 of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft with deliveries from 2018 to 2020.