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Fastjet chairman resigns as African airline seeks more funds

African budget airline Fastjet said it would seek more funds sooner than originally expected to achieve a turnaround, prompting Chairman Colin Child to resign on Friday after months of the company battling its second-biggest investor to retain him.

Fastjet said the cost and terms associated with returning leased aircraft had been more onerous than previously expected, leading it to believe that it would need to raise further capital.

“Having led the fund raising exercise in July this year Child believes that it would not be appropriate for him to continue in this role given the company is initiating, sooner than originally expected, a further fund-raising exercise,” the company said in a statement.

Nico Bezuidenhout, who joined as CEO from rival Mango Airlines, would assume the role of interim chairman until a new permanent non-executive replacement was appointed, Fastjet said.

EasyGroup Holdings Ltd, which owns 12.6 percent of Fastjet shares, had earlier this year sought to oust Child saying he failed to relocate the airline’s head office quickly and criticised him for a high cost base, arguments similar to those it used to push for the exit of former CEO Ed Winter in March.

Fastjet said on Friday it planned to complete its fund-raising exercise in the first quarter of 2017.

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