Tuesday, July 23, 2013

■ KENYA: So close yet so far as Jetlink Express struggles to sell its recovery plan to all its creditors.

Jetlink ExpressKenya's Jetlink Express (J0), grounded since November last year, has managed to convince 70% of its unpaid creditors to accept a business recovery proposal which would see the Kenyan domestic and regional carrier back in operations come October 1, though one, Kenya's Equity Bank, has remained adamant that it wants to see the bankrupt airline wound up and its debt of USD8.1million settled forthwith.

Jetlink Express CRJ200

Under Jetlink's proposal, a 51% tranche in the company would be shared between a debt-management agency, the equity investor, and the creditors which include Aerotech Limited, KenolKobil, Avmax Spares East Africa and Finejet. In return, USD4.23million of Jetlink's debt would be expunged with the rest (USD2.25million) converted into shares, which it would buy back after five years. Jetlink ceased operations last year after foreign currency remittance restrictions in South Sudan effectively cut off the Kenyan carrier from USD2million needed to keep operations running.

London-based Leasair & Co., which is owed USD9.2million, has also given notice to the court wanting to come on board as a creditor.

However, BusinessDaily Africa states that Jetlink’s lawyer, Peter Simani, has revealed that 70 per cent of the unsecured creditors have accepted the recovery plan to offer them 51% shares except Equity Bank.
That as a secured creditor, Equity Bank is entitled to the assets of Jetlink Express Limited in its winding up and supports the winding up petition,” says Joyce Munene, Equity legal services officer, in an affidavit filed in court last week.
Judge Jonathan Havelock directed the parties in the case to file their written submissions and serve on each other within 14 days. The matter will come up for hearing on September 12.