RiverOak – Key Questions Answered

RiverOak Investment Corp’s Manston Airport Key Questions Answered


RiverOak Investment Corp’s vision is to revive Manston Airport as a successful and profitable Sky Port and Integrated Aviation Services Hub. RiverOak has been working to become a partner with Thanet District Council and indemnify the Council against all costs arising out of the CPO. Below we have set out some of the questions most frequently asked of us.
Q: If a CPO is successful, where do you see Manston Airport in 10 years’ time?

1,300 direct jobs plus at least 1,000 indirect jobs-120,000 tonnes of cargo annually with an emphasis on perishables
Packing, storage and distribution of perishables
100 aircraft a year recycled in facilities developed jointly with a major aircraft manufacturer
50 aircraft a year repaired/maintained – Growing business jet traffic – Light aircraft training
A resident airline carrying 1.5 million passengers annually to leisure destinations
Q: RiverOak has offered to indemnify the Council. What does this mean?

RiverOak will cover ALL the costs of the CPO process, the costs of acquiring Manston and all related costs. These include legal fees, valuation fees, inquiry costs and any other expenditure incurred in acquiring Manston under CPO. The Council will not have to pay for anything.
Q: What happens if RiverOak won’t or can’t pay?

Under the terms of the indemnity, the Council will not be required to take any particular step until it has first received sufficient funds from RiverOak. The indemnity therefore prevents situations where the Council has incurred a liability which it needs to try and sue RiverOak to recover.
Q: What happens if the Secretary of State decides against a CPO?

Unless there are grounds for appeal, that will be an end to the matter. RiverOak will have paid for everything and the Council will not be out of pocket.
Q: Can RiverOak sue the Council if the CPO fails?  
Q: Will the Council be at risk when it comes to the question of Compensation? 

No. RiverOak have proposed using a process where they will deposit an agreed amount of funds in an Escrow account BEFORE possession is taken and the Council will not elect to take possession or ownership transfer until this has taken place.
Q: Is RiverOak willing to  negotiate with the owners to avoid the need for CPO? 

Yes. CPO procedures require that every attempt should be made to agree things up to the day of the public inquiry. However it seems clear that the owners will not negotiate until the Council passes a CPO resolution.
Q: Does RiverOak need any public funding for this project? 

No. We need nothing from the government, from Kent County Council or from Thanet District Council.
Q: RiverOak has formed a new company for the airport project. Why?
This is normal procedure for a private equity group like us, or indeed for virtually any commercial party. We create a new company for every project and channel our investment funding into it, much the same as the Disney Corporation forms a new company for every new film it makes.
Q: Why did RiverOak refuse to produce a 20 year business plan?

This is not strictly correct. We refused to produce numbers for 20 years because we felt it involved an unacceptable amount of guesswork/predictions about future economic conditions. Instead we produced a 5-year plan which demonstrates that this airport can break even within 18 months of re-opening and grow increasingly profitable from that point forward.

A more detailed version of the Q&A is available on http://www.riveroakinvest

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