Managing Director of AMCON, Mustapher Chike-Obi
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has directed that major domestic carrier, Aero Contractors, should restructure its operations to become nimble, smarter and more profitable.
The Managing Director of AMCON, Mustapher Chike-Obi, who disclosed this in a telephone interview with THISDAY yesterday, said: “We have reached a restructuring agreement which we believe will make the company better and for the good of all Nigerians.”
However, when THISDAY asked him whether AMCON had taken over the airline, he simply kept mum.
Meanwhile, Aero Contractors on December 9, announced that Mr. Obaro Ibru, had been appointed the new Managing Director of the airline, following the resignation of Mr. Akin George, who served in that capacity with the company for 24 years.
The airline in a statement stated that the changes were part of the restructuring exercise initiated by AMCON, adding that the exercise would make the airline “slimmer and stronger.”
The airline also confirmed that AMCON had bought the debts of Aero Contractors, thereby becoming the majority shareholder of the airline, while the Legacy shareholders still maintained a stake in the business.
“The Legacy shareholders will have the first right of option to buy-back the shares owned by AMCON through the financial investment for equity. To formalise this arrangement, it has therefore entered into an agreement with the Legacy shareholders,” the airline explained.
Aero noted that in view of the recent entrant of AMCON as a shareholder, the airline was repositioning itself to be one of the flagship airlines in Africa’s Sub-Saharan region and as a result, “several changes have been made in the past few weeks to help Aero achieve its set turnaround objectives.”
George was said to have notified the airline’s board of his intention to resign from the services of Aero Contractors, as part of his early retirement plan to pursue other areas of personal interest, while his letter of resignation was accepted on November 30, 2012 by the board of Aero Contractors.
The statement also said Ibru was temporarily appointed the acting Managing Director, while Captain Russell Leefoon, who is in charge of Flight Operations was appointed the acting Accountable Manager, pending the conclusion of an ongoing recruitment exercise in the company. to its zenith”.
“It is the paramount objective of the AMCON-Aero team to make Aero Contractors a leading world class airline with an ethos of worldwide best practice by implementing a safe, fast and profitable growth strategy. This will result in a new Aero Contractors that is well repositioned as one of the safest, fastest growing and dominant airlines in Africa and in the Sub-Saharan region,” the statement added.