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Image Source: steve p2008
Chloe Shakesby

London Southend Airport stake sold in multi-million pound deal

A UK logistics company has announced that it has agreed to sell more than a quarter of its stake in a London airport in a deal worth £125m.

Esken Limited, formerly known as Stobart Group, has signed an agreement with CGIOF River (CGI) to sell 30 per cent of its stake in London Southend Airport (LSA) for £125m.

The funds raised through the deal will allow Esken to repay its outstanding debts of £95m, with a further £20m of the funds ring fenced to provide support for the airport over the next three years.

The partnership will also see CGI contribute to the development of the airport going forward.

David Shearer, executive chairman of Esken, commented: “CGI represents a true strategic development partner that will enable us to realise the full potential of LSA.

“Carlyle is a global investment firm with $260bn under management.

“The combination of the proven operational capability of the LSA management along with the airport development experience of CGI and its financial strength will provide a strong platform as we rebuild our commercial relationships with our airline and other partners into the recovery.

“We aim to work closely together to develop a truly exciting London airport proposition. This transaction is structured to release £20m of funding into LSA to support its recovery and development while providing £100m of liquidity to the rest of Esken.

“We also intend to finalise a new £20m working capital facility and undertake a documented equity raise of around £40m. When complete these actions will allow us to emerge from the pandemic positioned strongly for recovery.”

Richard Hoskins, managing director of Carlyle Global Infrastructure, said: “We are delighted to partner with Esken Limited to support their vision for London Southend Airport.

“As one of London’s favourite airports, London Southend is attractive for airlines due to its cost-efficient operations base as well as to passengers for the experience and convenience.

“We look forward to working with Esken and the team at London Southend to realise the airport’s full potential.”

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