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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Sunday, 25 September 2016

OH NO, ITS A GREY BULL! UK MONARCH GOING BUST? WORRIED CUSTOMERS GET A LACKLUSTRE STATEMENT AS SALE ADVISORS DEUTCHE BANK IS ALSO 'SEEKING A BAIL OUT'.




Possibly better late than never. Monarch finally get around to releasing an official rebuttal to the weekends shock financial rumours...  Julian Bray will be discussing the latest position live on BBC Three Counties Radio at 17:10hrs on Monday



Deutsche Bank were charged with urgently finding a buyer for Monarch Airlines, fat chance now the seemingly troubled Bank itself is in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons....  


Monarch OFFICIAL STATEMENT
Monday September 26 2016


Over the weekend, there has been negative speculation about Monarch’s financial health.


Monarch is trading well and is expected to achieve an EBITDA of over £40m at the end of this financial year (October 2016). This is despite a difficult period for the holiday industry due to terrorist incidents, Brexit and the resulting devaluation of sterling.


Our flights are operating as normal, carrying Monarch customers as scheduled.


To weather tougher market conditions and to fund its ongoing growth, Monarch expects to announce a significant investment from its stakeholders in the coming days.



UK budget airline Monarch has been forced to deny a growing number of rumours, that its flying days are numbered, about to cease trading and set to call in administrators. Passengers meanwhile are taking to Twitter for urgent reassurance, their future booked seats are indeed safe. 


Speculation began to circulate on Sunday, over several social media boards, that the airline, was ceasing operations.


Julian Bray Aviation expert commented: The airline maintains the social media tweets are just a series of unfounded rumours....it would have helped their case, if the airline had immediately blitzed the media with formal press statements (even though, it was a Sunday) rather than just leaked tweets sent to worried customers....a City PR consultants head may roll for this lapse... it turns out that Bell Pottinger, are the tardy City PR firm in the frame.


Who are the mysterious and very private backers, and how did the City rumours start? Julian Bray looks at the background:






Greybull purchased ninety percent  of Monarch Holdings Ltd, a UK airline, trading as Monarch, on October 25, 2014, in return for a £50m capital commitment,  the remaining 10 percent passing directly to Monarch's pension scheme.


Greybull Capital's partner Marc Meyohas, said at the time: "We are delighted to acquire Monarch and invest our capital into a very strong brand with great potential" 


On the back of Greybull's investment, the airline then secured £125m of capital and liquidity facilities, but at a price. The airline had to restructure, reducing its aircraft fleet by 8 from 42 to 34. The payroll was slimmed down with some 700 redundancies, and overall fairly harsh wage and salary reductions.


The FT reported: Since Greybull bought Monarch, the travel airline has been transformed. Monarch in 2015 delivering its first profit in three years.


Greybull amazingly employed Deutsche Bank in April 2016 - itself possibly on the verge of a bail out (see end note ***)-  to 'explore strategic options for Monarch Airlines', including growth opportunities in Europe and/or possibly selling it.




Monarch Airlines were also seeking in June 2016 to secure an additional financial facility of £35m, either from Greybull or a third party, and it could be a combination of the Deutsche Bank feelers being put out, and the series of poor investment decisions Greybull has made recently.  


Morrisons sold M local to a team led by retail entrepreneur Mike Greene from Peterborough, backed by Greybull Capital, for £25m.


The deal incurring a loss of about £30m. Under Greybull, 140 of the convenience stores were rebranded ‘My Local’, safeguarding jobs of the 2,300 staff.

M local's operating loss for 2014 was £36m, so Greybull put My Local into administration in June 2016, just nine months after buying it.

Ninety stores closed, and more than 1,200 shop workers laid off, some allegedly without redundancy pay.  



The remaining thirty five stores sold off.  Morrisons then offered to rehire former employees, who lost their jobs.

Part of the sale to Greybull involved Morrisons guaranteeing some store rents if the business collapsed. So Morrisons was left with a potential liability of some £20m.



Earlier deals were somewhat rocky.


Graybull Capitals COMET store all boarded up just months into the rescue deal.







Comet’s demise caused the loss of more than 6,000 British jobs   

Greybull Capital, which has invested many millions of pounds in attempts to rescue some of Britain’s best-known retail brands.


Greybull alarmingly backed the abortive buyouts of Comet, the electrical goods chain; Game Group, the computer games retailer; and Rileys, the snooker hall business.


Until now, almost nothing was known about the two brothers behind it, Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas, but their recent involvement and the subsequent financial failure has cause the reclusive financiers to come reluctantly into the glare of the media spotlight. 

Hopefully Greybull will quickly find a buyer for Monarch, if only to remove the continuing uncertainty surrounding the airline.  



WHAT DO WE DO WITH A PROBLEM LIKE.... DEUTCHE BANK Mrs MERKYL?


Monarch Airlines might also wish to consider the German government is considering injecting billions into beleaguered Deutsche Bank,the advisors packing up the troubled airline for possible sale (!) German media outlets are heavily suggesting, but this is just hours after the politicians insisting there would be no state-backed bailout of the bank.


German newspaper Die Welt has since revealed the government is undertaking contingency planning to assess how it could step in to save the bank from financial collapse - an event which could trigger shockwaves through Europe's financial system and wreak more havoc than the demise of Lehman Brothers in 2008, analysts have warned.











JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com
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