13 June 2012 – disposal of the aviation business
The group has agreed to dispose of its aviation business, operating as Fly540, to Rubicon Diversified Investments, an AIM-listed investment company, for $85.7m, which has been satisfied by the issue of shares in the latter. Lonrho will own almost 74% of Rubicon. As part of the deal, easyGroup Holdings, owned by Sir Stelio Haji-Ioannou, will own 5% of Rubicon and, under a licensing deal with easyGroup, the airline will be branded FastJet. It will use the existing Lonrho Aviation routes and look to develop a low-cost African airline. It is expected that Ed Winter, who launched and was CEO of the low cost carrier GO for British Airways, before coming Chief Operating officer of easyJet will become CEO of Rubicon. This disposal is good news for Lonrho as it can now focus on its core businesses of agriculture and agri-logistics together with the oil services and infrastructure division. The shares remain a BUY.