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June 10, 2008

Silverjet may yet avoid crash landing

In the last seven days, two potential offers have been rumoured for Silverjet, when it looked like becoming the third business class-only airline to crash land in the past six months. These airlines have proved a boon to the meetings planner, due to their ability to delivery a high-level corporate experience for travelling delegates.

Since Silverjet’s collapse into administration last week, following its failure to secure a $5 million loan from Abu Dhabi-based investors Viceroy Holdings, two possible saviours have emerged.

The latest are billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, who are allegedly plotting a last-minute bid for the airline. The property developers are thought to be Silverjet's largest creditor, owed $19.6 million, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The Reubens had invested in the failed airline carrier in November.

Brothers David, 69, and Simon, 66, made it to number 10 in the Times Rich List this year and have been active in the British property market for the past decade after making their fortune in Russia’s aluminium industry. According to the Times, their British property assets are worth at least £2.2 billion and they have £1.9 billion in liquid assets. They also display a certain amount of philanthropy, having invested millions in the Reuben Foundation Children’s Cancer Centre at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital.

Last week, an offer was also made to receivers Begbies Traynor by Ireland-based Kingplace on behalf of private clients, which was confirmed by Silverjet chief executive Lawrence Hunt.

Silverjet reportedly owes creditors $78.7 million of which $33.4 million is secured against three aircraft, and is the third all business-class airline to go under in six months.

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