* Logistics group say airport part of multi-modal strategy
* Funded by 11.5 million share placing
LONDON (Reuters) - British transport firm Stobart Group (STOB.L) said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy Southend Airport in south-east England from Regional Airports Limited for up to 21 million pounds ($31.1 million).
Stobart, whose trucks are a common sight on Britain’s motorway network, said the deal would be in line with its multi-modal transport strategy, which already includes rail and sea operations.
Stobart Chief Executive Andrew Tinkler said: “At one stroke we have found our Southern base and greatly enhanced our position as a leading point-to-point service provider for customers in the UK and Europe who require fast and efficient services by air as part of their logistics solutions.
“We have already started talking to a number of airlines to investigate new passenger services.”
Stobart, which also has an option on Carlisle Airport in north-west England, said it would fund an initial 16 million payment from the 10 million pound net proceeds from a placing and a 6 million pound loan.
An additional payment of up to 5 million pounds would depend on the airport’s development and would come from existing facilities, it added.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by David Cowell