Chief ex­ec­u­tive Bro­gan to de­part from Sto­bart Air

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN MUL­LI­GAN

THE chief ex­ec­u­tive of Sto­bart Air, Sean Bro­gan, is to leave the air­line, end­ing his ef­forts to ac­quire the car­rier through a €65m man­age­ment buy­out plan.

Sto­bart Air has been up for sale since last year, af­ter share­holder In­vesco sig­nalled it wanted to exit.

The Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent re­vealed back in March that Mr Bro­gan had tabled an of­fer to buy the air­line, while the Sto­bart group was look­ing at a pos­si­ble merger of the air­line with Dublin-based Ci­ty­Jet.

Sto­bart Air op­er­ates the Aer Lin­gus Re­gional ser­vice, pic­tured above, on a fran­chise ba­sis, and also op­er­ates ser­vices for FlyBe.

It’s be­lieved that Aer Lin­gus would have been favourably dis­posed to­wards an MBO of Sto­bart Air.

Sto­bart Air con­firmed that Mr Bro­gan is to “con­clude his role” at the air­line and that a process will be­gin to find a new chief ex­ec­u­tive. For­mer Ryanair ex­ec­u­tive Tim Jeans re­cently left his role as Sto­bart Air chair­man. Mr Jeans was suc­ceeded by An­drew Tin­kler, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Sto­bart Group.

The UK firm owns 45pc of Sto­bart Air, with 40p held by In­vesco Per­pet­ual. Bro­ker Cenkos owns 10pc, while for­mer Aer Arann chair­man Padraig O’Cei­digh owns 5pc. The air­line, pre­vi­ously known as Aer Arann, was ac­quired out of Ex­am­in­er­ship by Sto­bart and its part­ners.

While a pos­si­ble merger with Ci­ty­Jet is still thought to be one of the op­tions un­der con­sid­er­a­tion by Sto­bart Air, it’s not clear how Aer Lin­gus would view such a move.

Sto­bart Air gen­er­ates vir­tu­ally all its rev­enue from the Aer Lin­gus fran­chise agree­ment, and Aer Lin­gus also has a stake in a com­pany that owns air­craft used by Sto­bart Air. Mr Bro­gan will re­main at Sto­bart Air for an in­terim pe­riod.

Mr Tin­kler said Mr Bro­gan had been “an in­te­gral part” in driv­ing the air­line’s trans­for­ma­tion such that it is now an “es­tab­lished force” in the avi­a­tion sec­tor. Mr Bro­gan said that it is the “right time” to step away to pur­sue new chal­lenges. “I look for­ward to the next stage in my ca­reer,” he added, wish­ing the air­line “con­tin­ued suc­cess”.

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