The former chief executive of Stobart has bought a 10 per cent stake in British airline Flybe, just as it was announced that a consortium made up of Stobart and led by Virgin Atlantic was set to purchase the struggling airline.
Stobart's former CEO, Andrew Tinkler, bought the share in the company on Friday, according to Sky News.
Virgin is leading the consortium, which also includes Cyrus Captial Partners, and announced on Friday that it would buy Flybe for £2.8m.
Tinkler was ousted from infrastructure and support services group Stobart, last year, after allegedly breaching his contract and fiduciary duty, but a lengthy legal battle is still ongoing.
At this stage it is unclear who he acquired the stake in Flybe from and how much it cost, but a source close to Tinkler told Sky News he is not seeking to disrupt the proposed takeover.
The purchase is expected to be disclosed to the London Stock Exchange on Monday.
Both Stobart and Flybe declined to comment on the report.