He declined to reveal the price being paid by brothers Stephen and Peter Bond, who built up helicopters business Bond, for his stake of 50% plus one share. It would seem likely, given Loganair's announcement yesterday that it had hiked its annual pre-tax profits from £2.8 million to £3.5m in its 50th year in operation, that the price would run into millions of pounds.
Stephen Bond supported the management buy-out (MBO) of Loganair from Sir Michael Bishop's British Midland in 1997, taking a 30% stake when Mr Grier bought 70% of the business, and has been a non-executive director of the Glasgow-based airline ever since.
In 2007, he bought a further 20% of Loganair, less one share, from Mr Grier, who stayed in control of the business at that stage with 50% plus the one "golden share".
Mr Grier, who is 71 and will be succeeded as Loganair chairman by Stephen Bond, told The Herald he would retain an advisory role with Loganair, which would be "quite important for a year or two", and that he had no plans to join any other company boards.
He has also been given the title of president of Loganair, which operates a mixture of commercial routes and taxpayer-subsidised "lifeline" services. The airline's extensive Scottish network covers Campbeltown, Islay, Tiree, Barra, Benbecula, Stornoway, Shetland, Orkney, Wick, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. It has expanded into England, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Norway.
It operates most of its scheduled services under Flybe's livery through a franchise arrangement, while bearing the commercial risk on these flights, and has a code-share agreement with British Airways to enable flight connections. Last year, Loganair bought Suckling Airways, which provides aircraft and crew for some of the flights of Air France KLM's Cityjet, Direktflyg of Sweden and Sun-Air of Denmark.
Mr Grier said day-to-day running of Loganair's operations had for years been in the hands of chief executive David Harrison and the airline's senior management team, while he had focused on strategy, expansion and development.
He noted that, in 1997, Loganair had only one, 18-seater Twin Otter plane, five, eight-seater Britten Norman Islanders, and only 44 employees. It now has 26 aircraft in its fleet, of which it owns 14, and employs more than 500 people.
Asked how the MBO had worked out, relative to his expectations, Mr Grier replied: "I think it has been more successful than we dared hope. I think everyone in the company should take great pleasure and satisfaction and credit for the huge improvement we have made since 1997."
He added: "We have had a torrid time. We were extricating ourselves from the British Midland Group, and that was a very painful time...Loganair came back from the dead. The nearest we came to extinction was in 1996/97. The MBO allowed the Loganair name and company to be retained. We have now built up a comprehensive scheduled service network within Scotland and elsewhere which most people would probably think is the best network Scotland has ever had."
Mr Grier said 50 Scottish-based airlines and aviation companies had "come and gone" in Loganair's 50 years. He noted Loganair had made a profit in 14 of the 15 years since the MBO, and said it was now stronger than it had ever been.
Loganair's profits rose to £3.5m in the year to March 31 as turnover increased from £68m to £72m.
Mr Grier cited charter flights for the buoyant oil and gas sector as the main driver of profit growth. Oil and gas activity also boosted business on scheduled flights to Shetland.
He cited a boost from winning a contract from the Irish Government to start a Donegal to Dublin route last November, which led to the launch of Glasgow to Donegal flights. But he noted pressure on Scottish services from the economic backdrop.
Mr Grier said the rise in turnover reflected the Suckling purchase.
He noted the swift turnaround in the financial performance of Suckling, which made a loss of £1m between August 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012, but has been profitable since the start of the new financial year on April 1.