Solenta takes stake in low-cost carrier fastjet

Solenta takes stake in low-cost carrier fastjet

African low-cost carrier fastjet has signed a conditional agreement with Solenta, a specialist African commercial aviation group based in Johannesburg, for the provision and operation of three wet-leased aircraft.

The deal for the planes is on a full ACMI basis and includes the supply of other services over the next five years.

The agreement will see Solenta become a 28 per cent shareholder in fastjet.

Nico Bezuidenhout, interim chairman and chief executive, commented: “Our agreement with Solenta represents a good operational and strategic fit.

“It provides fastjet with access to fleet and related services which, together with the funds raised through our proposed placing, will allow us to successfully implement the final stages of our stabilisation plan.

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“We have made good progress with the plan and the near-term priority continues to be to fully stabilise the business and to reach cash flow break even by the fourth quarter of this year.

“As well as helping us to achieve this objective, the fundraising and Solenta Agreement will also provide the platform from which to flexibly and cost-effectively pursue fastjet’s medium to long-term objective of becoming the first truly pan-African low-cost airline.”

fastjet has agreed to issue Solenta 95.6 million new ordinary shares to acquire a Solenta group SPV that will own the right to enter into the three ordinary course wet-leases and to receive discounts to the value of US$19.2 million on the future cost of services provided by Solenta.

The deal will provide fastjet with the necessary infrastructure and capital to implement the final stages of its stabilisation plan and reach cash flow break even by the final quarter of 2017.