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NEWS

Malaysia’s Capital A aims to raise $400 million equity from AirAsia merger

By Danial Azhar

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The parent company of Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, Capital A Berhad <CAPI.KL>, is looking to raise up to $400 million in equity as part of a planned merger to bring its long and short-haul operations under one brand, its CEO said on Monday.

Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes in an interview said that would be on top of a $200 million bond-raising the company is hoping to conduct in the next few weeks, as it awaits regulator and shareholder approval to complete the sale of its aviation business to long-haul unit AirAsia X Bhd.

The proposed deal, announced last month, would see the formation of a single airline AirAsia Group, he said.”(We hope) the acquisition by AirAsia X of Capital A aviation assets will be done by June and July,” Fernandes told Reuters.

Fernandes did not provide details on what the financing would be used for.

Both Capital A and AirAsia X have undergone restructuring after being classified by Malaysia’s stock exchange as

financially distressed, due to strict pandemic travel restrictions.

AirAsia X was removed from the classification in November, after undertaking measures to improve its financial position, while Capital A has said it hopes to present a plan to the bourse by June.

Fernandes said the aviation industry was currently experiencing its “best period”, with greater room to expand routes amid an industry-wide supply crunch and fewer competitors.

“We feel really confident about the future,” he said.

Fernandes said he hoped to eventually list all of the group’s remaining non-aviation businesses, which include mobile payments firm BigPay, logistics arm Teleport, and online travel agency AirAsia MOVE.

Last year, the company also said it plans to list its brand management unit in the United States via a merger with special purpose acquisition company, Aetherium Acquisition Corp.

 

(Reporting by Danial Azhar, Editing by Louise Heavens)

 

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