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Gama Aviation settles another court battle following Hangar 8 merger

Shares took off in early trading on Wednesday, as the private jet operator settled three cases and announced another US$1mln award from another

Gama Aviation -

Gama Aviation PLC (LON:GMAA) has settled a legal battle with SPC Aviation Ltd, as the jet operator continues to wrap up several court cases resulting from its merger with Dustin Dryden’s Hangar 8.

The company, which manages private jets for the rich including Topshop billionaire Sir Philip Green, said in an update on Wednesday that planes owner SPC has released the company from its US$4.4mln damages claim, while Gama has let go of its counterclaim for $1.3mln in unpaid bills, in a High Court judgment on Tuesday. 

SPC was suing Gama over how it managed and operated a Challenger 601 aircraft owned by SPC over invoicing errors, misrepresenting the value of the aircraft, and loss of income due to delays in carrying out a maintenance check. Gama then filed a counterclaim for the unpaid invoices totalling £1mln.

Gama also let go of its case against Hangar 8 founder Dryden, who it was suing in turn over the SPC claims.

Since the reverse takeover of Hangar in 2015, Gama has faced several court battles based on how the company had previously conducted its commercial relationships.

In a November case, Gama also won US$1mln in its claim against Taleveras Group, which it is now pursuing, bringing its total awards from three court cases against the company to US$2.5mln.

Dryden left Gama Aviation nine months after the merger, after which Gama claimed that the former director owed the company several thousand pounds, with Dryden, in turn, claiming that Gama owed him up to £6.1mln.

The firm added that it is in the “final stages” of a further case in Paris over a claim by Asecna against Hangar 8, with the judgment expected next month. 

Overall legal costs for the three matters amounts to approximately £1.7mln for 2019 which Gama says will have no impact on its underlying financial results.

Shares rose 3% to 64p in early trading on Wednesday.

Quick facts: Gama Aviation

Price: 38.5 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £24.5 m

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