Business airline Silverjet talking to potential buyers

11-04-2008

Business airline Silverjet talking to potential buyers
Business airline Silverjet confirmed it is in takeover talks, sending its shares soaring 36 per cent.

Silverjet, which operates flights to New York and Dubai from London, saw its shares surge to a two-month high yesterday afternoon.

The company would only confirm that it is in talks with potential buyers, but would not reveal their identity.

High fuel costs are squeezing airlines and long haul operator Oasis announced this week that it is going into administration, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded in Hong Kong.

The company raised £21 million in November, including a £10 million loan from Reuben Brothers.

Silverjet, which launched in 2006, has yet to make an operating profit. In releasing its latest passenger statistics the company remained upbeat, however.

Lawrence Hunt, chief executive, said last week: "Although Silverjet didn't generate an operating profit and was not cash generative in March, excluding the discontinued Flyjet operations it did record both the largest ever gross profit and the smallest operating loss since we started flying multiple aircraft, despite a further material increase in our fuel costs.

"This is solid progress towards our objective of becoming profitable as quickly as possible in a difficult market."

A pre-close statement is due later this month.

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