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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 November, 2004, 13:12 GMT
Airport tycoon's charity pledge
Stanley Thomas
Stanley Thomas grew up in the south Wales valleys
Businessman Stanley Thomas has pledged to put some of his share of the 100m from the sale of his airport company TBI to help young people in Wales.

Mr Thomas, 62, originally from Merthyr and now living in Jersey, has been president for 13 years of the Boys' and Girls' Clubs in Wales.

He is also chairman of the appeal to raise 7m for a children's hospital in Wales.

He said his part of the 550m deal was a way to continue his charity work.

Mr Thomas has come a long way since he started a firm with his brother, Peter, in 1971 selling meat pies to local fish and chip shops.

He sold that company, Peter's Savoury Products, in 1987 for a reported 75m, and then moved into property.

With developer Paul Bailey, he started TBI in the early 1990s, and the firm became a fully-listed company on the Stock Exchange in 1994.

It is the sale of this company to the Spanish firm, Abertis, that he is recommending that the board and shareholders of TBI accept.

Almost a fifth of TBI is owned by the Thomas family, including his brother and sister, although it is Stanley Thomas, as chairman, who is most involved in its day-to-day running.

Cardiff International Airport
TBI owns or runs eight airports, including Cardiff International

Mr Thomas said the deal was likely to be worth up to 100m to shareholders.

But he said: "Quite honestly, I don't look upon the success in money terms.

"I have always believed that anybody who is successful ought to be putting money back into the community and, particularly, creating more jobs.

"I'm the chairman of the new children's hospital for Wales, the Noah's Ark Appeal, we have just completed raising nearly 7m for that.

"There are many other opportunities for me to invest in different charities.

Luxury yacht

"I'm president of the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Wales, which is in some financial difficulties at the moment.

"This will now allow me to help them out even further."

"We look after 35,000 children throughout the whole of Wales and I'm just hoping now that I can save that particular organisation because it has been suffering financial difficulties for some time."

Dave Evans, chief executive of the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Wales, said Mr Thomas had been a high-profile and hands-on president of the organisation since 1991.

Mr Thomas had offered a two-week holiday for six people on board his personal 80ft luxury yacht, cruising the Caribbean or Mediterranean, as a lottery prize.

He said: "We are having a little trouble at the moment, financially.

40,000 children

"If it wasn't for Mr Stanley Thomas, we would be in a real pickle.

"For years now he has been supporting us, not only himself but also his company, TBI.

"He is a supporter of many charities in Wales. If he chooses that the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Wales should continue with his support, 40,000 young people in Wales will be highly delighted."

The Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Wales is a registered charity which offers help and support to youth clubs, groups and sports clubs by offering youth projects, sporting opportunities and training.

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