Chief executive Brogan to depart from Stobart Air
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".