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FastJet Says Lenigas Quits as Chairman Pending Lonrho Takeover

FastJet Plc (FJET), the African discount-airline startup, said Executive Chairman David Lenigas has stepped down with immediate effect and that Chief Executive Officer Ed Winter will replace him on an interim basis.

FastJet’s board will recruit a non-executive chairman to fill the role and an announcement will be made in due course, the London-based company said today after markets closed.

Lenigas has left to focus on “other business ventures” in the light of last month’s agreement by FS Africa to buy Lonrho Plc, the biggest investor in FastJet, he said in the statement. The 52-year-old is a former executive chairman of the hotels, ports and agribusiness group, which he quit last September.

“I see a very bright future for a low-cost airline on the continent of Africa,” Lenigas said in today’s statement. “FastJet has the right model to succeed.”

FS Africa has agreed to purchase Lonrho for 10.25 pence a share or about 175 million pounds, the companies said May 15. FS is a bid vehicle set up to make the purchase and controlled by Swiss investors Rainer-Marc Frey, founder of hedge-fund group Horizon21, and Thomas Schmidheiny, a former director of Swissair and one-time chairman of cement maker Holcim Ltd.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Jasper at cjasper@bloomberg.net

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