Bird & Bird advises Monarch Group on its recent strategic review and acquisition by Greybull Capital


A team from Bird & Bird worked closely with counterparts from Freshfields and members of the Monarch in-house legal team jointly to advise the Monarch Group on its recent major refinancing and transformational programme. Monarch has been a significant and valued client of Bird & Bird since 2010.

The restructuring of the Monarch Group involved the sale by the existing shareholders, principally the Swiss Mantegazza family, of their entire interests in the Group, the acquisition of a majority of their interest by Greybull Capital LLP and the introduction of £125m of new financing facilities. Preparing the Group for sale, a key focus for Bird & Bird, involved the implementation of substantial cost savings, revised agreements with the airline’s aircraft lessors (including the early return of 8 aircraft to the lessors), a redundancy and employment modernisation programme and the restructuring of existing finance arrangements. The Bird & Bird team advised particularly on the financing, aircraft lease negotiation and employment aspects of the transaction.

Simon Chamberlain, lead partner, Bird & Bird, commented: "This was a critical transaction for the future of the Monarch Group and it was particularly rewarding to be able to contribute significantly to its transformation and sale which has secured its future as a long-standing and respected member of, and major employer in, the UK travel industry."

The Bird & Bird team was led by Simon Chamberlain, Trystan Tether, Robin Springthorpe and Liz Lang with assistance from Almas Daud, Annabelle Wheeler and Martin Barr, among others. The Monarch in-house legal team was led by Alison Wilds and Andrew Lingard.

The Monarch Group is one of the UK's leading leisure travel groups, comprising principally Monarch Airlines, Monarch Travel Group and Monarch Aircraft Engineering.