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Chapman Freeborn announces new shareholder structure as the company looks to the future

The Chapman Freeborn Group of Companies is pleased to announce the successful completion of a new shareholder structure to enable the business to consolidate and grow over the next decade and beyond.

Chris Chapman and Carol Norman have sold their interest in Chapman Freeborn to a new management backed vehicle headed by Russi Batliwala, Shahe Ouzounian and Peter Joarder.

The transaction involves a significant ongoing interest for Chris and Carol in the Chapman Freeborn operation - and they will continue to have an active role in helping the business move forward.

Chris Chapman, founder and chairman of the Chapman Freeborn Group of Companies, said:

"This decision is about succession planning. Russi, Shahe and Peter have demonstrated over a significant period that they are very worthy inheritors of the Chapman Freeborn client service traditions which have, I believe, been key in seeing us grow so significantly over the years."

"I am looking forward to seeing the business continue to go from strength to strength under their even closer stewardship."

"For Carol and myself it was really important that the company was taken forward by people who really understand the Chapman Freeborn ethos. This deal secures that and also enables us to be available as necessary to assist with a seamless transition."

The announcement coincided with Chris Chapman being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cargo Airline of the Year Awards in London.

The award, presented last week, recognised Chris's achievements in the air charter industry and building Chapman Freeborn into the leading global charter service provider over the past 35 years.


Russi Batliwala (Chief Executive Officer) age 45

Russi comes from an aviation family and worked for a number of commercial airlines before joining CF Germany in 1987. He took over the management of CF Germany in 1990. During his 22 years with the Group he has been instrumental in setting up a number of key global operations including CF UAE as well as subsidiaries in the US and Spain. Russi will now focus on the CEO role and to ensure that he can deliver the future vision and continued growth of the CF Group, handing over the day to day running of the business in Germany and UAE to country managers. He is appointed as a director of the Company.

Shahe Ouzounian (Chief Operating Officer) age 38

Shahe joined CF in 2000. He previously worked as a senior sales executive for an aircraft leasing and charter company, and prior to joining CF worked as a strategic management consultant for British Airways. In addition, he founded Freight Publications Limited, which established a technical reference dedicated to the cargo aircraft industry. This was sold to an airfreight trade publisher in 1999. Shahe took over as the managing director designate of CF UK three years ago which was then made official two years ago. Shahe will continue in his role as MD of CF UK and is also appointed as a director of the Company.

Peter Joarder ACA BSc hons (Chief Financial Officer) age 39

Peter qualified as a chartered accountant in 1996 and shortly thereafter joined Ernst & Young LLP within their Entrepreneurial Services division. On leaving Ernst & Young LLP in 2002 he joined IVAX Pharmaceuticals (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of US listed IVAX Pharmaceuticals Inc, as Financial Controller reporting directly to the European Finance Director. During his time there Peter had responsibility for the successful implementation of Sarbanes Oxley controls within the UK. Peter joined CF as Group Financial Controller in April 2007 becoming Group Finance Director and Company Secretary in Dec 2007. Since becoming Group FD, Peter has focussed on improving the Groupâ?'s financial reporting processes and internal control environment, and will continue to develop this post completion. Peter is also appointed as a director of the Company.

5th May 2009