Traders Are Really Upset About FlyBe’s Bargain Takeover

(Bloomberg) -- News that U.K. regional airline Flybe Group Plc is being acquired at a 93 percent discount to the prior day’s closing price caused a Twitter storm on Friday.

But while the agreed-on takeover price was just one penny per share, the group buying Flybe -- led by Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. -- will also provide up to 100 million pounds ($128 million) to support the ailing carrier’s growth and service its debt.

Flybe shares cost 295 pence apiece when the carrier had its initial public offering in late 2010, and closed at 16.4 pence Thursday, almost two months after the airline said it was in takeover talks amid financial stress. Existing investors often lose out when a corporate rescue is required. But, unsurprisingly, Finance Twitter wasn’t so understanding. (Not all of these Twitter accounts have been independently verified by Bloomberg News.)

And as the stock plunged at the open, those who had hoped for a better outcome were left licking their wounds.

Some Twitter commenters expressed sympathy.

While others made light of the situation...

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