Al-Thunayan’s suit affects none of Med-View Airline’s operations – Bankole

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*Bankole

The management of Med-View Airline has said that the suit filed the Saudi investor and chairman of the airline, Sheikh Abdul Mohsen al-Thunayan, does not affect its operations, sale or leasing of any aircraft.

The managing director of the airline, Mr. Muneer Bankole who stated this in a statement made available to NewsGazette on Friday confirmed that Al-Thunayan had a pending suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

He said the suit borders on non-payment of dividends to him (Al-Thunayan).

Bankole said the airline’s board of directors had at a meeting held on June 15, 2020, resolved to sell two of the company’s aircraft – Boeing B737-400 and B737 marked 5N-MAA and 5N-MAB respectively.

He said the sale was meant to reduce the company’s credit facility with First Bank, its banker.

He said the decision was also aimed at re-strategising the airline’s operations by acquiring two lower capacity aircraft.

Bankole added that the decision was taken following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which collapsed many of the global economies, including the Nigerian aviation industry.

“The resolution was made pursuant to the request of our banker, First Bank for the company to liquidate or reduce its indebtedness to the bank.

“The bank has also promised to continue its unwavering support to acquire the two aircraft even with their approval of the sale of 5N-MAA and 5N-MAB,” he added.

The managing director further stated that the directors were all notified of the meeting, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange Commission (NSE) and that it was done in line with the regulations guiding quoted companies.

He averred that by virtue of the existing Deed of Aircraft Mortgage and De- Registration Power of Attorney between Med-View Airline Plc and First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the latter is the sole mortgagee that could exercise all relevant legal rights over the said aircraft.

He noted that in the exercise of its legal rights therefore, the bank considered and approved the sale of the two aircraft and channel proceeds from the sale into liquidation of the airline’s exposure to the financial institution.

“This clarification becomes necessary therefore to inform would be interested purchasers of the two aircraft.

“First Bank in exercise of its lien power as the sole mortgagee therefore has the competence and capacity to approve the sale of the 5N-MAA and 5N-MAB aircraft.

“Interested persons and organisations should therefore submit/conclude their offers for consideration and acceptance accordingly,” he added.

It would be recalled that Al-Thunayan filed a suit at the court challenging the move by Med-View Airline Plc to sell-off some assets of its assets.

He said he was neither aware of the board meeting nor a party to the decision to sell two aircraft as part of measures to pay some debts and revive the commercial aircraft.

The plaintiff said in a letter signed by his counsel, ALP Nig and Co., indicated that the matter was currently the subject of Suit No: FHC/L/CS/34/2020 at Federal High Court.

“Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Thunayan holds N3.510 billion shares in Med-View Airlines, representing 36 per cent of the total shares in the company. Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Thunayan is currently in dispute with the company over the company’s failure to remit dividends due to him on his investment in Med-View Airline and to render a proper account of the company’s affairs,” said the letter.

“Al-Thunayan wishes to inform the general public that he did not receive notice of the meeting where the decision was purportedly taken and has instructed his legal team to take steps to challenge the move.

“Persons seeking to purchase these aircraft, or any other property belonging to Med-View Airline, and the general public, are hereby put on notice that any dealings they may have in that regard may form part of the aforementioned lawsuit,” the letter stated in part.

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