Ryan takes over the reins at GPA again

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DUBLIN (Reuter) - GPA Group, the world's largest aircraft-leasing firm, has replaced Maurice Foley as chief executive.

Tony Ryan, the Tipperary railway man's son who founded the firm 17 years ago, once more takes over the reins as executive chairman and chief executive.

Mr Foley was made chief executive in the run-up to GPA's dollars 1bn ( pounds 500m) flotation on the New York, Tokyo, London and Dublin stock markets, which was abandoned at the last moment in June due to lack of investor support.

A company spokesman said yesterday that GPA had decided that 'in the present circumstances it would be in GPA's interests that there should be a single leadership focus'. Jim King has been elevated to vice-chairman responsible for aircraft acquisitions and relations with key customers and manufacturers.

Colm Barrington is now chief executive responsible for GPA Capital and GPA Leasing, a vital role for the cash-hungry firm based at Shannon airport.

As deputy chairman, Mr Foley will look after strategic planning, personnel administration and company relations with financial markets and shareholders.

GPA is committed to spending dollars 11.9bn up to the year 2000 on new aircraft and dollars 7.1bn of that total has to be found before the end of 1994. The need for cash to fund these purchases is a top priority.