Finnair signed a letter of intent: StaffPoint and GWS to become shareholders in a joint venture focused on regional flying

Finnair has signed a letter of intent with StaffPoint Holding Ltd and G.W. Sohlberg Ltd., in accordance with which Flybe UK Ltd s 60 % ownership of Flybe Nordic venture will be transferred to StaffPoint and GWS. The sale of the shares is conditional upon approval being received from the Finnish competition authorities. Upon completion of the sale, StaffPoint s ownership in the joint venture would be 45 %, GWS s 15 % and Finnair s 40 %.

Flights operated by Flybe Finland will continue normally.

- We are pleased that we will have Finnish companies StaffPoint and GWS as partners. When the deal is realized, Flybe Finland and its board of directors will start jointly developing a business model for the company and improving the effectiveness and profitability of regional flying, says Pekka Vauramo , Finnair CEO.

- We have been analyzing this industry for some time, and we see potential in it. The industry is growing, and it is labor intensive. Air traffic has a strong positive impact on the Finnish economy and supports Finnish employment. With our experience in human resources, we want to play a role in the future of the industry. We employ over 14 000 people every year, and we believe that as shareholders we can add value to Flybe Finland, says Mika Kiljunen , CEO of StaffPoint Group.

The transaction price is the previously announced 1 euro.

StaffPoint Ltd offers unique capabilities and in combining staffing and recruiting expertise, coaching, training and HR software.

G.W. Sohlberg Ltd, founded in 1876, is a Finnish family owned company, which invests in the leading companies of their field.

Finnair and Flybe UK Ltd announced on November 12, 2014 that the shares of Flybe Nordic held by Flybe UK would be sold to a new majority shareholder, or to Finnair. Finnair communicated that its goal is to find a new majority shareholder for Flybe Nordic. Finnair s aim has been to find solutions that would enable the development of regional flying in a financially sustainable way.

The ownership change of Flybe Nordic does not have any immediate financial impact on Finnair. Finnair has previously written down the value of its Flybe Nordic AB shares.

Finnair s balance sheet includes a 9.9 million euro subordinated loan issued to Flybe Finland in 2011, and it also has advance payments and other operational receivables from Flybe Finland. As Flybe Finland's operations require further restructuring, it is possible that a part of these receivables will be uncollectable. Finnair continuously monitors the valuation of various financial accounts related to the Flybe Finland cooperation. Finnair estimates that the resulting financial impacts will not exceed -35 million euros. If needed, Finnair is also prepared to give working capital financing to Flybe Finland. Finnair now estimates that the potential financial impacts will be specified so that the company can inform about those in more detail in connection with its interim review on February 11, 2015.

Further information:
Finnair communications, tel. +358 9 818 4020, comms(a)finnair.com

Distribution:
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About Us

Finnair is specialised in flying between Europe and Asia via Helsinki. Finnair's strategy is based on the growing markets in Asia, the fastest connections between Europe and Asia, high-quality service, and cost-efficient, punctual operations. Founded in 1923, Finnair is one of the world's oldest continuously operating airlines. It is a member of oneworld, the leading airline alliance for quality-conscious business travelers.

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