Jimoh Ibrahim Acquires Nigerian Eagle Airlines
The deal has been concluded, Nigerian Eagle Airlines (formerly Virgin Nigeria Airways) has a new owner. A Nigerian businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, acquired a majority stake in the ailing airline. Reportedly, he bought the 49% share of Virgin Atlantic in the airline as well as the 51% share held by Nigerian institutional investors. All the shareholders will be bought out for a sum of $5 million – taking a loss of $20 million, and the new owners will also take over the liabilities of the airline which is in excess of $100 million. The most important creditor of the airline, UBA bank, gave its approval to the deal last week.
According to the new owner, Nigerian Eagle Airlines will acquire two more aircraft and Lufthansa Technik will become responsible for the maintenance of the fleet again, cancelling the technical agreement with Ethiopean Airlines. Nigerian Eagle currently operates a fleet of two EMB190s and three B737-300s.
Jimoh Ibrahim is the owner of Global Fleet Group. He acquired EAS Airlines in 2006 to form a new airline called Nicon Airways, but the airline was grounded the next year.
Update: there are contradicting reports about the sale of Virgin Atlantic’s share to Ibrahim. In another development, the CEO of Nigerian Eagle, Dapo Olumide, resigned his position. The Ethiopian COO of Nigerian Eagle, Kinfe Kahssaye, has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer of the airline.