The website for the would-be new owners of the Monarch Group doesn’t give much away. On the page are two paragraphs of text describing the company and an email address.
“We’ve done a poor job of communicating what we do,” Marc Meyohas, founder and managing partner of Greybull Capital, told TTG.
He denied that the firm was secretive, pointing out that it didn’t need a huge public profile as it is a “family office” so did not need to raise external capital.
The firm was part of a group of investors behind OpCapita’s ill-fated buyout of Comet and has also backed a number of other companies, including electronics business Plessey Semiconductors.
“We were not a relevant player in what happened with Comet. We got a disproportionate amount of PR flak for it but that’s probably because we are not particularly good at managing our PR activities, we’re trying to get better at it.”
So if Greybull does take control, what next? The deal is set to go through at the end of October pending the “successful outcome of ongoing negotiations”, and the firm’s investment is likely to be more than £75 million.
Monarch’s struggles over the summer have been well documented and it released a statement admitting that it was undergoing a strategic review covering all areas of the business from “operations to ownership and financing”.
“Clearly the current shareholder [the Swiss-based Mantegazza family] after 46 years has made the decision that now’s the time to step aside and the business needs to change direction significantly,” said Monarch chief executive Andrew Swaffield.
This will include a reduction in its cost base to bring it in line with other low-cost carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair.