Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways said that it has completed its Series A round of financing with Kuramo Capital.
Kuramo Capital is a Pan African independent investment management group based in New York with additional offices in Lagos and Nairobi.
Green Africa Airways said in an official statement to PageOne.ng that as part of the new investment, Green Africa Airways has also formed an advisory board of senior industry leaders led by Tom Horton, former CEO & Chairman of American Airlines and former Chairman of oneworld Alliance, William Shaw, Founder & former CEO of VivaColombia, and Virasb Vahidi, former CCO of American Airlines.
The new airline has received an Air Transport License (ATL) from the Nigerian Government, commenced its Air Operating Certificate (AOC) process and is in conversations with leading aircraft manufacturers. Green Africa Airways also recently appointed Captain Jag Singh, VP of Flight Operations and former Acting CEO of Caribbean Airlines, as Chief Operating Officer, and Captain Bart Roberts, former VP of Flight Operations at JetBlue and ex-Chief Pilot at American Airlines, as Chairman of the Safety Review Board.
Mr. Walé Adeosun, Founder & CEO of Kuramo Capital noted, “The aviation sector is a critical industry that can create meaningful value for shareholders while also contributing significantly to the economic development of a nation. Green Africa Airways presents a legacy opportunity for Kuramo Capital to generate attractive risk-adjusted return for our investors and build a world-class business that will serve as catalyst for economic growth on the African continent.”
According to Mr. Tom Horton, “Nigeria is uniquely positioned to be the home of the next major value airline in the industry that will bring air travel to a much broader group of people. Alongside William, Virasb and Babawande, I am very happy to join hands with Kuramo Capital to launch and shape Green Africa Airways into a preeminent customer-focused brand.”
Mr. Babawande Afolabi, Founder & CEO of Green Africa Airways said, “We are incredibly fortunate and honored to have reputable leaders back Green Africa Airways. The consortium brings seasoned experience, extensive global networks and value-based leadership to Green Africa Airways. This pivotal Series A round of financing and outstanding advisory board will strengthen our journey to build Green Africa Airways into a top-notch carrier that will help create a better future for several millions of customers in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Walé Adeosun, CFA is the Founder & CEO of Kuramo Capital, a Pan African independent investment management group based in New York with additional offices in Lagos and Nairobi. Prior to founding Kuramo, Walé was Treasurer and CIO for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) $1 billion endowment fund. He led RPI’s increased investment efforts in emerging markets, including Africa. From 1999-2004, he was Managing Director in the Investment Group of the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. Walé was a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa and is former Chair of the $180 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund’s Investment Advisory Committee. He also served as a member of the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee of the US Export-Import Bank. Walé is a CFA charter holder and was inducted into the New York chapter of Association of Security Professionals Wall Street Hall of Fame in 2008.
Thomas W. Horton (Tom) served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMR Corporation until its merger with US Airways to form American Airlines Group in 2013. During that time, he led American Airlines through a successful restructuring and turnaround which culminated in the merger that made American Airlines the largest airline in the world. He subsequently served as the Chairman of the combined entity until 2014. Tom was also the Chairman of oneworld, the global airline alliance until March, 2014. Previously, Tom served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AMR Corporation and American Airlines from 2006 to 2010, and Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of AT&T Corporation from 2002 to 2006. Tom is currently the Lead Director at Walmart and Qualcomm. He also sits on the Board of General Electric and he is a Senior Advisor to Warburg Pincus, a leading American private equity firm.