UK aviation group Esken, whose interests have included London Southend airport, has filed for administration over plans to restructure the company.

Esken has identified Clare Kennedy, Daniel Imison and Catherine Williamson of AlixPartners UK as joint administrators.

The decision follows Esken’s agreeing to a restructuring and recapitalisation plan for London Southend, intended to head off a legal dispute with investor Carlyle Global Infrastructure Fund.

This plan involved Carlyle’s converting a loan into equity, giving it a large majority share in the airport and leaving Esken as the minority partner.

As part of the plan Esken was to undergo a court process for restructuring.

But Esken admits that implementation of the proposed restructuring has “ceased to be commercially viable”.

London Southend-c-Esken

Source: Esken

London Southend’s recapitalisation proposal will not be affected by Esken’s entering administration

It points out that it is Guernsey-registered, and this creates particular legal complications in Esken’s case.

“There is unacceptable risk associated with the court process to achieve the proposed outcome, which could also take considerable time to execute,” it says.

Esken’s board has “regrettably concluded” that, given the company’s financial situation and an absence of suitable proposals to resolve its challenges, it should be placed in administration to protect shareholders’ interests.

It stresses that the measure is not expected to have any impact on the recapitalisation proposal for London Southend which, it says, will “continue to remain fully operational and funded”.