September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Having come agonisingly close to rescuing Luton-based all-Business carrier Silverjet, the joint administrators were last month forced to make the airline's workforce redundant after the deal fell through at the last minute.
Silverjet was grounded on May 30 after a US$5 million cash injection failed to materialise. By June 9, however, the administrators had received three expressions of interest and agreed principal terms of a takeover by Irish company Kingplace.
The buy-out was due to be completed within the week, with Silverjet expected back in the skies within a matter of weeks.
Four days later, however, administrator Mark Fry, of Begbies Traynor, was forced to announce: "As a result of the unusually complex negotiations with third parties, Kingplace is no longer in a position to acquire Silverjet as a going concern.
"As a consequence, we have had to make the entire workforce formally redundant, in line with our legal obligations as administrator. We are extremely disappointed to have had to make these redundancies, which we had been working hard to prevent.
"We continue to negotiate the sale of Silverjet's assets for the benefit of the company's creditors."
Kingplace is backed by Geneva-based investment firm Heritage, whose chairman Ian Ilsley is on the Kingplace board. Speaking before talks broke down, Ilsley had said: "If these negotiations are successful, we expect to take on all of the existing staff, to honour Silverjet's existing customers' tickets and see Silverjet return to the skies in a matter of weeks."
Lawrence Hunt, Silverjet chief executive, was equally convinced his airline was due to make an imminent comeback. "I am personally delighted that we now have the necessary backing from a long-term investor to re-launch Silverjet," he said.