Saturday, February 24Inside Business Africa

Local airline to sell asset despite investor’s lawsuit

The management of Med-View Airline Plc has said the plan to sell-off some of its assets was still in place despite a lawsuit challenging it move at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The airline said notwithstanding the claims of its Saudi investor, Abdul Mohsen Al-Thunnayan, the financing bank, First Bank Nigeria, has the sole right to liquidate the asset.

Al-Thunnayan filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging the move by Med-View Airline Plc to sell-off Boeing 737-400 aircraft with registration 5N-MAA in Estonia and another, 5N-MAB, in Lagos.

The investor, who also doubles as the Chairman of Med-View, said he was neither aware of the board meeting nor a party to the decision to sell two aircraft as part of measures to pay some debts and revive the commercial aircraft.

Recall that the commercial airline had since last year quit operations when all its aircraft went out of service, and the relationship between the Chairman and his Managing Director, Muneer Bankole, went sour.

The airline’s management said by virtue of the existing Deed of Aircraft Mortgage and De-Registration Power of Attorney between Med-View Airline Plc and its bankers: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, was the Sole Mortgagee that could exercise all relevant legal rights over the said aircraft.

The Managing Director of Med-View, Bankole, yesterday confirmed that Al-Thunnayan had a suit bothering on non-payment of dividends to him at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Bankole explained that the Board of Directors of the airline at a meeting held on June 15, 2020, resolved to sell two of the company’s aircraft to reduce its credit facility with First Bank.

He noted that the decision was also aimed at re-strategising its operations by acquiring two lower capacity aircraft.
He explained that this was necessary following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, which collapsed many of the global economies, including the Nigerian aviation industry.

“The resolution was made pursuant to the request of our banker, First Bank, for the company to liquidate or reduce its indebtedness to the bank.

“The bank has also promised to continue its unwavering support to acquire the two aircraft even with their approval of the sale of 5N-MAA and 5N-MAB.”

According to him, the directors of the airline were all notified of the meeting, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange Commission (NSE), stressing that this was in line with the regulations guiding quoted companies.

Bankole added in the exercise of its legal rights, therefore, the bank considered and approved the sale of the two aircraft with the sale’s proceeds applied towards part liquidation of Med-View’s exposure to the financial institution.

“This clarification becomes necessary therefore to inform would-be interested purchasers of the two aircraft. Interested persons and organisations should therefore submit/conclude their offers for consideration and acceptance accordingly,” he said.

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