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Cassani flies off with Go in 100m buyout

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Cassani flies off with Go in 100m buyout

Old 14th May 2001, 01:02
  #1 (permalink)  
Mooney
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Thumbs up Cassani flies off with Go in 100m buyout

Cassani flies off with Go in 100m buyout

From; http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/


BARBARA CASSANI will lead a management buyout of Go, the low-cost airline, in a deal to be announced this week.

The buyout from British Airways is being part-financed by 3i, the venture capitalist, and is expected to value Go at just under 100m.

Negotiations are in their final stages and the buyout is likely to be announced by Friday. A source close to the deal has confirmed that Cassani, the chief executive of Go, will lead the airline's management team.

Cassani, 40, was appointed to run Go three years ago by BA's former chief executive, Bob Ayling, after she convinced him that there was a market for a low-cost airline operating out of Stansted.

Observers believe that Cassani, who joined BA in 1987, is the driving force behind Go's success. Although the airline has not yet made a profit, it is expected to go into the black this year.

Cassani's success with the management buyout has come despite the fact that she was once reprimanded by BA bosses for suggesting that Go could operate independently.

Cassani, who is from Boston, Massachusetts, and who is the world's only female airline boss, came to the attention of BA after her involvement in the buying and restructuring of the troubled DanAir in 1992. Her chances of leading a buyout were strengthened when 3i beat off competition to buy the low-cost airline.

Other interested parties, such as KLM, had also made bids for the business. The Dutch carrier, however, was not selected as a preferred bidder because of concerns that it had plans to merge Go with Buzz, its own low-cost carrier - a move that could run into competition problems.

Any tie-up with Buzz is now thought to be unlikely. A source close to the deal said: "Apart from the fact that they are low-cost carriers, they are very different businesses. A merger is unlikely, although I would never say never."

Although most private-equity businesses aim to make an exit from their investment within three to five years, 3i is understood to have no such plans. Sources say a decision has not been made as to whether the company will float or sell the business.

Barclays Private Equity recently joined 3i in its bid for the airline, strengthening its chances of success. It had originally put forward an offer of 90m with the private-equity group Electra Partners, but it is believed that the bid was considered to be too low.

Both Barclays and 3i have already had some involvement in the airline sector. Barclays had invested in Luton Airport, and 3i backed the start-up City Flyer Express in the late 1980s, turning it into a BA franchisee and selling it to BA two years ago for 75m.

BA had hoped that the sale of Go would fetch up to 300m. But enthusiasm among potential buyers soon waned, with the Hinduja brothers, Easyjet and Iberia, the Spanish carrier, all quitting the race. Easyjet, the Luton-based airline, is believed to have offered BA about 200m in shares, but its approach was rebuffed.



 
Old 14th May 2001, 12:17
  #2 (permalink)  
Yak Hunt
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Wink

Good on her!! She obviously believes in the business and has the guts to go for it. Just what is required up top.
Good Luck.
May your skys be smooth.
 
Old 14th May 2001, 13:18
  #3 (permalink)  
A7E Driver
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I wish Go much success --- but wonder if this will be possible with venture capital backing. The VCs will be looking for a 30% rate of return and an exit ideally around year 3. The mez and senior debt structures will be very demanding --- meaning not much cash for anything else but interest and debt repayment. Good luck -- it will require some.
 
Old 15th May 2001, 02:35
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The Flying Scotsman
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Barbara may be the “driving force behind Go's success” but that success (??!!!) was borne on the backs of the pilots and cabin crew who worked 99.9 hours a month and paid for …… crew meals, uniforms, (the list is too long – lets just say EVERYTHING) to get the airline off the ground. I doubt the “Go Team” will remember the crews who slept on the aircraft in Ibiza every Saturday night when they cash in their share options/bonuses.

I am genuinely glad that Go seems to have a future – I have a lot of mates still working for them (thankfully, I no longer do) but lets not rush to eulogise Mrs Cassani – she is a hard headed business woman who has come out of this project smelling of roses – or as the Americans like to spell roses - “$$$$$$$$$$$$$”
 
Old 15th May 2001, 03:07
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Billy the Kid
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Red face

Only problem is, what's stopping BA from taking the 100m now, then squashing the GO operation in 6 months time to regain their market share?
 
Old 15th May 2001, 11:20
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The Guvnor
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Red face

And on the subject of roses, The Flying Scotsman let's not forget that she played a leading role in Operation Covent Garden either!
 
Old 15th May 2001, 11:31
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A7E Driver
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OK, I give up. What was Operation Covent Garden?
 
Old 15th May 2001, 12:09
  #8 (permalink)  
The Flying Scotsman
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Sorry Guv - you've lost me there ?
 
Old 15th May 2001, 12:38
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World Traveller
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Something to do with 'Dirty Tricks' ?
 
Old 15th May 2001, 12:40
  #10 (permalink)  
The Guvnor
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Cool

Operation Covent Garden was BA's codename for its 'dirty tricks' against VS - Barbara Cassani headed up the team which improperly (some would say illegally) accessed confidential data from the BABS and CUTE systems at LGW and LHR under the "Helpliner" banner.

As for her role in the Dan Air acquisition ... there are others out there who are better qualified (and were directly affected) to comment on her role.

For all that she's one tough dame, I like her personally.
 
Old 15th May 2001, 14:31
  #11 (permalink)  
Nacaduck
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Guv,

Do you mean you "like her personally" or do you mean that you "personally like her".

There's a world of difference old boy!

LOL
 
Old 15th May 2001, 14:46
  #12 (permalink)  
Who?
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Talking

Well I'm sure that gladdens her heart Guvnor. Personally liked by a man who has contributed as much to aviation as yourself!
 
Old 15th May 2001, 15:01
  #13 (permalink)  
What_does_this_button_do?
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Whoa! Who's underwriting the lease agreements on the Boeings?
 
Old 15th May 2001, 18:01
  #14 (permalink)  
The Guvnor
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Nacaduck - the latter.

What_does_this_button_do - not BA, that's for sure!
 

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