British low-cost airline easyJet has rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from its Budapest-based rival Wizz Air according to sources who claim to be familiar with the matter.
To see it through the winter months, easyJet has instead raised $2 billion in stock and debt from existing shareholders. The airline expects a significant recovery in leisure travel next summer but the typically slower winter period is expected to dent easyJet’s finances hard.
In its regulatory filing, easyJet didn’t name who had made the unsolicited offer but sources cited by Bloomberg are confident it is Wizz Air. The Hungarian discounter is Europe’s fastest-growing low-cost airline and operated more flights this summer than it did before the pandemic.
The takeover bid was for an all-share takeover at a low premium. Both easyJet and Wizz Air declined to comment further on the news.
The bid was unanimously rejected by easyJet’s board.
While Wizz Air has managed to grow amidst the pandemic, the British-based easyJet has been hit hard by some of the harshest travel restrictions across Europe.
EasyJet said on Thursday it was “well-placed to emerge from the pandemic” but the share sell would provide a “buffer” to help the airline through the winter.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.