EasyJet's new 777 - million pounds, that is

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The Independent Online

EasyJet, the low-cost airline with an emphasis on growing online bookings, today set its float price at 310p a share - valuing it at £777 million.

EasyJet, the low-cost airline with an emphasis on growing online bookings, today set its float price at 310p a share - valuing it at £777 million.

Unconditional dealing is due to start on 22 November, although conditional dealing by institutional investors was permitted from today. It is anticipated that the public offering could be oversubscribed by up to 10 times.

Easyjet plans to use some of the £195 million raised through the flotation to buy more aircraft.

Mr Haji-Ioannou is floating 25 per cent of the airline, leaving his family with a 65 per cent stake and directors and employees around 10 per cent. The offer is open only to institutional investors, meaning that small investors will miss out on any premium that the shares may go to today. Barring a sharp correction on the stock market they are likely to rise given the level of demand for the shares.

EasyJet was given a boost last week when the rival cut-price airline Ryanair produced better than expected profit figures and even British Airways interim results came in at the top end of analysts' forecasts.

EasyJet's 330 most senior managers and pilots will each receive an average of 25,000 share options, yielding a profit of £32,000.

The remainder of the 1,400 staff, ranging from cabin crew and call-centre staff to cleaners, will each receive an average of 750 free bonus shares worth around £2,300.

* After the first hour, shares in easyJet had lifted to 340p.

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