Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air’s highest shareholder and US private equity firm Indigo Partners has announced the sale of 12.4533 million ordinary shares in the carrier.

The shares were sold by investment funds managed by Indigo Partners through Indigo Hungary and Indigo Maple.

The stake sale was carried out at a price of 4,015p a share and raised gross proceeds of around £500m.

Prior to the sale, Indigo shareholders owned 20.6% of the issued ordinary share capital and voting rights in Wizz including convertible shares and convertible notes.

With the sale, Indigo’s stake in Wizz decreases from 20.6% to 3.4%. The shareholders will continue to hold convertible shares and convertible notes in Wizz following completion.

Through the sale, Wizz Air will comply with the EU shareholder rules.

JP Morgan served as the bookrunner on the deal and noted that the Indigo shareholders fall under non-qualifying nationals under the EU share-ownership rules.

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According to the rules, which come in the wake of Brexit, airlines can operate in the 27-nation bloc only if they are more than 50% owned by European Economic Area nationals.

Non-compliance with the regulation restricts non-EEA shareholders to continue operations.

Wizz Air offers more than 710 routes from 25 bases. It connects 154 destinations across 45 countries.