Finsbury to steer Virgin Express through float

Virgin Express, Richard Branson’s budget airline, has hired Finsbury to handle its financial PR, ahead of its imminent flotation in New York and Brussels.

Virgin Express, Richard Branson’s budget airline, has hired

Finsbury to handle its financial PR, ahead of its imminent flotation in

New York and Brussels.



Finsbury will focus on media work in New York, Brussels and London. The

Brussels-based airline is seeking a listing on the Nasdaq national

market and the Brussels stock exchange.



Finsbury was hired without a pitch. It handles PR for Merrill Lynch, the

investment bank which is co-ordinating Virgin Express’ share

offering.



After the float Virgin will hold 53.4 per cent of the company, employees

two per cent and the public 44.6 per cent. The flotation is expect to

value Virgin Express at around pounds 125 million.



Branson has reportedly been impressed with the success of rival

operators such as Debonair, EasyJet and Ryanair and is hoping to raise

pounds 60 million from the float to fund expansion. He formed Virgin

Express in April 1996 following the purchase of Belgian airline EBA for

pounds 36.5 million.



Virgin Express operates services from Brussels to continental Europe and

recently added a service to London.



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