UPDATE 1-Fastjet in long-term financing talks with Stelios's easyGroup

Wed Apr 2, 2014 3:45am EDT

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April 2 (Reuters) - African budget airline Fastjet Plc said it was in talks to secure financing from potential long-term backers including easyGroup Holdings, the private investment vehicle of billionaire Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Fastjet shares jumped more than 7 percent to 1.85 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning.

The company, which aspires to be the first pan-African low-cost carrier, had said last month it was in talks with a number of potential investors.

Stelios's interest in Fastjet surfaces at the time when he has been inching away from easyJet, following several disputes with the British budget airline's board.

The billionaire, who set up easyJet in 1995 at the age of 28, quit its board in 2010 and has since repeatedly criticized the multi-million-pound pay packages awarded to its top executives.

London-headquartered Fastjet said it would make an announcement about the outcome of the discussions in due course. (Reporting by Richa Naidu and Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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