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Greybull Capital LLP said it hired Deutsche Bank to explore  strategic options for Monarch Airlines, which it acquired near bankruptcy from previous owners, the Swiss-Italian Mantegazza family, in October 2014. Greybull is reportedly assessing several different options as part of its review of Monarch, from potential acquisitions to mergers, as well as a potential sale to a bigger player. The move comes within days after Greybull, agreed to acquire Tata Steel’s (NSE: TATASTEEL) Long Products Europe division based in Scunthorpe for £1, in a deal which includes a £400 million ($570 million) investment and financing package. At the time of its takeover of Monarch, Greybull set about restructuring the insolvent airline with the intention of repositioning it as a “premium budget-carrier” focusing on regional European and Mediterranean leisure routes while terminating long-haul and charter operations. Despite benefitting from the slump in fuel oil prices and posting a £40 million ($61 million) gross profit for the year ending October 2015, the carrier’s traffic has been reportedly hit by terrorist attacks in its mainstay markets of Egypt and Tunisia, while its Cypriot and Turkish operations have been hampered by the Syrian refugee crisis. Monarch carries more than 6.5 million passengers annually, and employs almost 3,000 people. It is based at Luton Airport and also flies out of Gatwick. Monarch reportedly attracted the interest of Chinese conglomerate HNA, which also owns ground-handling services business Swissport. “HNA Group, which has spent billions of pounds as part of a global takeover spree, has hired bankers to evaluate a possible acquisition of a large minority shareholding in Monarch,” said Sky News. “If a deal gets completed, it would represent China’s biggest investment to date in a major British airline.” “Bankers at Rothschild have been appointed to work for HNA, which is the owner of Hainan Airlines and this week agreed a $1.5bn (£1.1bn) takeover of Gate Gourmet, the aviation catering group,” Sky News added. A Greybull spokesman said: “Monarch has executed a successful turnaround, is now a strong and stable business, and is therefore ready to look at growth opportunities in Europe,” according to The Telegraph. “In order to review relevant options thoroughly, Monarch has sought the assistance of Deutsche Bank, who will look at both inbound and outbound opportunities.” Greybull is expected to make a substantial profit on a sale, The Sunday Times said. Greybull Capital London-based Greybull is run by the secretive Marc and Nathaniel J. Meyohas brothers and longstanding Swedish family friend Richard Perlhagen, who are best known in the UK for coming to the rescue of Monarch Airlines in 2014. Greybull is a family investment office with significant investments in various sectors including aviation, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, energy, industrials, retail and leisure across UK, mainland Europe and the US. Within its UK portfolio Greybull’s family trusts own and control several companies including the Monarch Group, My Local, Plessey Semiconductors Limited and Arc Specialist Engineering Limited. “We are a family-owned, family-run business with interests everywhere,” Marc Meyohas told the Sunday Times. Greybull was reportedly set up to invest “the wealth of the two families, whose ties go back 40 years.” The brothers’ father was a French corporate lawyer who reportedly made his fortune in the private equity industry in the U.S. Prior to founding Greybull in 2008, Marc Meyohas was founder and CEO of Cityspace Ltd, a kiosk-based tourism services company. He holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Manchester, A 2002 Harvard Business School publication features a product demonstration by Marc Meyohas, reflecting on the business model and prospects of his fledgling startup, including a video “taped in January 1999 during a critical time of strategic reorientation for Cityspace.” Cityspace is a UK-based technology company, which provides urban digital networks in partnership with local authorities. It became the market leader in outdoor communication and information networks through its pioneering product and service portfolio of iPlus Points, StreetNet wireless broadband “hot zones” and intelligent transport systems. Cityspace has developed urban digital networks across a number of London boroughs, UK city councils and international implementations in Moscow, Sweden and Brussels, among others. In 2005 Marc Meyohas’ Citispace created London’s “Technology Mile’ outdoor broadband hot zone Wi-Fi network by way of a “transatlantic partnership” deployed in partnership with Canada’s BelAir Networks. “We chose to work with BelAir on this project as it offers the most flexible design in wireless switch routers, which allows us to easily and painlessly expand our wireless network,” said Meyohas at the time. Prior to joining Greybull in 2010, his brother Nathaniel Meyohas was a principal at privately-held private equity firm Sun Capital Partners from 2003 to 2010. Sun Capital has over $9 billion of capital under management, with offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, New York, and affiliates in London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Shenzhen. He was previously an investment banker at Lehman Brothers from 1996 to 1999. He holds an MBA degree from NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Nathaniel Meyohas has served as Executive Board Member and November 2011 dinner chairman at Israel’s Laniado Hospital in the UK, together with his Italian-born wife Michaela Nahmad Meyohas, a scion of the world renowned Nahmad family of billionaire fine art collectors and art dealers residing in Monaco, London and New York. Her father and uncle Ezra and David Nahmad are among the world’s most influential dealers of modern and impressionist art by “more than 30 blue-chip artists, from Monet and Matisse to Renoir and Rothko,” including “300 Picassos worth at least $1 billion,” according to Forbes. They are said to own a vast inventory of more than 4,000 works of art worth an estimated $3 billion, stored in a freeport warehouse next to the airport in Geneva, Switzerland, which they typically trade at auctions. Richard Perlhagen, a founding partner at Greybull Capital, worked in venture capital at SEB Merchant Banking in London from 2007 to 2009, prior to joining Greybull. He previously worked for two years as an investment analyst at his family’s Swedish industrial conglomerate and private equity firm Volati AB, an offshoot of Volaty BV, founded by his father Gert Lennart Perlhagen, also founder and owner of his Swedish family empire Odin Trust, and pharmaceutical company Meda AB since 1999. Volati AB is now majority-owned (57.8%) by its chairman Karl Perlhagen (Richard’s brother), who in 2013 left his job as Meda’s CFO. Lennart Perlhagen made a fortune in the 1990s by buying cheap heartburn Losec/Prilosec tablets in Italy and selling them at a premium in Sweden, through his Cross Pharma pharmaceutical company, which he reportedly sold for tens of millions. He’s a director of London and New York-based family business Chelsea Textiles, founded in 1990 by his wife Mona Perlhagen, with their daughter Jenny Perlhagen Simpson serving as design director. He’s also a director of Israeli medical device oncology company Standen Ltd, operating as NovoCure. He previously served as Pfizer’s CEO for Scandinavia and UK, and as AstraZeneca AB regional director for South Europe. Since 1999, the Perlhagen family have been the owners of French vineyard Domaine Grande Bastide located on the countryside of Tourettes, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France.]]>