Edi Truell has given us his permission to publish the email he sent earlier on 15th November 2016 to selected parties concerning Manston Airport that seems to have caused quite a stir. He has also given us a statement in response to some of the references to him made public yesterday.
We have been in touch with Edi for more than a year after he contacted us in regard to the potential of acquiring Manston. After some background investigation to understand who he was, we entered into discussions with him and facilitated connections with relevant parties. During that stage, we certainly became aware of the same frustrations Edi details below, even by those who had the means to establish Edi’s background and the finances at his disposal. Parties that have entered proper discussions with Edi have all confirmed back to us our initial understanding that his plans have always been for aviation at Manston. Obviously we have sought to keep information confidential in spite of everything, to prevent damage being caused to the campaign by losing a potential investor. It is clear that he has been interested in Manston for some time, but has chosen to remain in the background.
Email sent by Edi Truell to selected parties: Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Supporters of Manston Airport; representatives of Stone Hill Park; representative of RiverOak; Leader of Thanet District Council; Chief Executive of Thanet and East Kent Chamber and a Partner with Disruptive Capital, on 15th November 2016:
I have rarely been involved in a more frustrating process. For the better part of a year now I have been reaching out to everybody to try to get a coherent business plan for a restoration or airport operations. There has inevitably been delays, such as the change of Mayor, the much delayed publication of the Davies report and decision to go with Heathrow.
I and my infrastructure investment team believe that there is a real case for the restoration of airport operations at Manston. This is predicated on the assurances we have had from Kent County Council and Thanet that a fast rail link can be established as well as encouragement from the owners that they would at least consider an airport rather than a mass housing project.
Recently, I have had significant interest from far eastern airlines in operating into Manston for long haul flights coming in to the UK in the early morning.
I would like it put on the record that we are very interested in investing in the new facilities acquired to create a proper long haul destination. We will also ensure that we acquire the interest of the current owners at a fair price and have indeed made several proposals to them.
Our team have invested in 14 airports around the world. Indeed are under exclusivity to acquire another airport in Australia. Whilst we have been waiting for Miss Gloags team to put forward a coherent plan to us, we have reached the point that we are prepared to take the operation development into our own hands and wait no longer on other people to do the work.
If this is of interest we look forward to receiving a financial proposal from the owners that we can then consider and expedite.
This is his response to comments about him by Stone Hill Park:
As for being a ‘speculator’ I am better known as a long term pension investor. I co founded the Pension Insurance Corporation – which has insured £20billion of pensions. I was then appointed as Chairman of the London Pension Fund Authority. I orchestrated the investment of that fund; and then was the architect of the the ‘pooling’ of the Local Government pension funds with c£190 billion of assets.
In my role as Adviser on Pensions and Investments and as Chairman of the Strategic Investment Advisory Board, I was asked to investigate the acquisition of Manston Airport and the co ordination of investment to develop the airfield into a commercial venture. This I have patiently attempted in a non partisan manner, until it became clear that the present owners are determined to turn it into a housing estate and have no intention of reopening it as an airport.
Within our group, we have fostered the Annuity Infrastructure Club. The team there have made some $68 billion of infrastructure investments, including 14 airports across the world.
I am a member of the Co Operation Forum of Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds; and of the G20 Long Term Investment Council. I have addressed both of these august gatherings on infrastructure investment.
Not exactly ‘speculation’.
At Supporters of Manston Airport, we hope discussions between Edi Truell and Cllr George Rusiecki who has been tasked by UKIP to discuss further with Edi, prove positive.