Fastjet chairman David Lenigas makes unscheduled departure

Marion Dakers
DAVID Lenigas has suddenly quit the board of Fastjet ahead of the takeover of the airline’s biggest shareholder, Lonrho.

Executive chairman Lenigas, who resigned as Lonrho chair last September, said the change of ownership represented “a good time for me to step down to pursue my other interests” in a statement after the markets closed last night.

Chief executive Ed Winter will take over Lenigas’s duties until a replacement is found.

Lenigas has chaired Fastjet since its creation in late 2011, when investment group Rubicon took on Lonrho’s aviation business and set about buying other assets.

The serial entrepreneur clashed repeatedly with the founder of one of these ventures, Don Smith of Fly540 Kenya, but the pair settled their spat over takeover payments earlier this year.

He has helped steer the African-focused airline through several such disputes and delays during its first 18 months, in which time its Aim-listed shares have lost three-quarters of their value.

African conglomerate Lonrho last month agreed to be taken over by Swiss group FS Africa for £175m.