Esken close to solution in dispute with Carlyle Group over airport

London Southend Airport

Esken is close to a solution in its long running dispute with Carlyle Group over the funding of London Southend Airport.

A settlement with Carlyle will then enable the former logistics and energy group once known as Stobart Group to sell the airport and formally close down its last remaining business.

However, the recapitalisation proposal with Carlyle, to be co-funded by Cyrus Capital Partners, which holds an exchangeable bond) would result in Esken’s shareholding in London Southend Airport being significantly reduced to a minority interest as part of a formal restructuring plan, which would require court approval. 

In a statement to the Stock Market this morning Esken’s board said: “There can be no certainty that any of these discussions will lead to a consensual agreement, but Esken believes that a consensual outcome would be in the interests of all parties and will take all reasonable steps to facilitate such an outcome. 

“The Company is also undertaking contingency planning, including exploring access to alternative funding to cover its liquidity needs. The recapitalisation proposal, if agreed to by the Company or imposed on it by the courts, could have a material adverse impact on the Group.”

The turmoil and demise of the business started in June 2018, when Stobart Group removed long standing chief executive Andrew Tinkler from the board. Thus began a long-running and costly legal battle between the two parties.

In May 2020 the company sold the intellectual property rights to the Eddie Stobart and Stobart brand names for £10m to Eddie Stobart Logistics.

Early in 2021 the group announced it would change its name to Esken.


Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...