Carlisle Lake District Airport and Stobart Air sold

Esken, the aviation and energy infrastructure firm formerly known as Stobart Group, announced it has signed a complicated agreement for the sale of its entire shareholdings in Stobart Air Unlimited Company and Stobart Air (UK) Limited, the owner of Carlisle Lake District Airport (CLDA), to Isle of Man-based Ettyl Limited.

“The sale is subject to certain change of control and bank facility consents and is expected to complete by early May 2021,” said Esken.

David Shearer, executive chairman, Esken, said: “I am pleased to be able to announce these transactions today which are in line with our stated strategy at the time of the successful capital raise in June 2020.

“This has been a difficult and protracted process to conclude given the impact of the pandemic on air travel.

“Stobart Air remains a critical part of connectivity between Ireland and the United Kingdom and I am pleased that we have managed to secure the future of that business and its 480 staff under a new owner with ambitions to grow its network of routes.

“The sale of the airline presents a significantly better financial outcome than that resulting from a closure.

“Our operations at CLDA were peripheral to the main focus of our Aviation business at London Southend Airport and we have taken this opportunity to tidy up our portfolio of businesses at a fair value in current markets allowing us to minimise future cash burn and avoid management distraction.

“I wish the new owners of both these businesses every success in the future.

“The completion of these transactions will allow management to focus on the core operations of Stobart Energy and London Southend Airport, along with the aviation services business.

“I will report further on our strategic objectives for these businesses when we release our results for the year to 28 February 2021.”