Stobart Group to take stake in Aer Arann to save carrier
Stobart Group announced it was selected as the preferred bidder for Aer Arann (Galway News/Irish Independent, 12-Oct-2010). The company will invest up to EUR4 million in the carrier in the form of a convertible preference share. This would allow existing Aer Arann owner and Chairman, Padraig Ó Céidigh, to retain his majority stake. The management team, led by CEO Paul Schutz, will remain in place. Stobart has signed a five-year operating agreement with Aer Arann to use London Southend Airport for flights starting in Mar-2011. Stobart will also invest EUR2.5 million to incentivise and market Aer Arann’s operations from Southend. The Irish High Court has extended the examinership at Aer Arann until 22-Oct-2010, allowing time to finalise the scheme with creditors, who are owed approximately EUR18 million.