London - Lonrho [JSE:LAF] on Wednesday said it had sold its aviation
business to British investment firm Rubicon, allowing it to create
Africa-focused low cost airline FastJet with EasyJet founder Stelios
Lonrho said it had sold the unit to Rubicon for $85.7m. As
part of the deal, Stelios' EasyGroup will own 5% of Rubicon.
"Following completion Rubicon will pursue a strategy of
developing a low cost African airline utilising the Lonrho Aviation route
network and existing platforms," Lonrho said in a statement.
"Under a licensing agreement with EasyGroup, the
airline will be branded FastJet and will use modern jet aircraft and operate to
Earlier this year Stelios unveiled plans to set up another
airline and call it FastJet, stoking tensions between EasyJet management and
Stelios, whose family is the largest EasyJet shareholder with 38%.
Former EasyJet chief operating officer Ed Winter will become
chief executive of FastJet, while Stelios has the right to be personally
appointed to the Rubicon board as one of EasyGroup's board representatives.