Esken shares crash after fresh allegations by investor, loan repayment demanded

UK aviation group Esken announced new allegations from investor Carlyle Global Infrastructure Fund (CGI) regarding a technical breach of their loan agreement for London Southend Airport.

CGI is demanding early repayment of a £193.75 million loan by February 2024 that was not due until 2028.

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Esken shares were down 52% at the time of writing.

Esken said it is investigating the validity of the alleged breaches and believes repayment at this time would have significant adverse implications for the company and stakeholders, including CGI. The company had viewed CGI as a long-term partner in the airport’s development.

Esken remains confident in its legal position on the original breach allegation made in September 2023. The company and its airport subsidiary will engage with CGI to resolve the issues, which they believe would be value destructive if the loan is called in early.

Esken said they see considerable value in the Southend Airport business underpinned by a buoyant air travel market after COVID-19.

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