Flybe planning IPO

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LONDON – British budget airline Flybe and five oil companies are planning initial public offerings in London next year which are expected to value them collectively at 1.5 billion pounds ($2.46 billion), the Sunday Times reported.

The paper said Flybe had instructed advisers Merrill Lynch to prepare for a listing, and was likely to hold its IPO after the airline’s 2009 results are published in March.

Exeter-based Flybe, which operates 180 routes between 55 European airports, is expected to attract a valuation of about 300 million pounds, the paper added, without citing sources.

“Flybe may consider the possibility of a public listing when investor demand returns,” the airline said in a statement.