Monday, 18 March 2013

AirAsia X set for June listing

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia X, the long-haul affiliate of AirAsia Bhd, is now ready for a June listing on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia after having deferred its initial listing, planned in the first quarter, says AirAsia GroupChief Executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

He said AirAsia X submitted all listing-related documents, including listing application and prospectus, to the Securities Commission for their approval and was now awaiting a favourable reply.

"This time it is going to happen. We are looking at a June listing," Fernandes told Bernama, referring to the aborted AirAsia X's initial listing plan.

Through the proposed IPO, AirAsia X is expected to raise about US$250 million (RM775 million), or 97 sen per share, of which, half would be utilised to repay bank borrowings and 21.5 per cent for capital expenditure.

The medium to long-haul carrier initially targeted a first quarter listing but the plan was later aborted.

Fernandes said AirAsia X's listing would be different as the airline was planning to diversify and enlarge its shareholding ownership, by giving first priority of share subscription to Malaysians who have flown AirAsia X and contributed to the success of the airline.

As a fine example, he said AirAsia witnessed an immense level of interest among Malaysians during the recent public-listing of Tune Insurance Bhd.

Fernandes said in a normal public-listing exercise, large corporations take up a significant chunk of public issuance, which disabled interested Malaysians from pursuing their objective.

"Thus, I want AirAsia X to be a public issue. For this, I am going to go on a road show to promote the AirAsia X's shares throughout Malaysia, and to increase the level of Malaysians' participation in a Malaysian company.

"All this is subject to the approval of the SC. But, I am sure they will support as SC has always championed the initiatives of share ownership enlargement," he added.

AirAsia X owns a fleet of nine Airbus A330-300s for scheduled services and has two A340-300s for wet-lease and charter operations flying to 12 destinations across Asia and the Middle East.

The company appointed CIMB Investment Bank Bhd as its principal advisor for the IPO while Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, CIMB and Credit Suisse are the joint global coordinators.

Asked on a potential dual listing of AirAsia X, Fernandes said the value that the airline could bring for a dual-listing would be very minimal.

However, he said AirAsia expected an Asean stock exchange to be created soon as many companies in Asean were now expanding, regionally.

"At least, the minimal thing that the regulators must create is an Asean index. There is no such index yet.

"In the index, the regulators can find a basket of Asean companies such as AirAsia and CIMB," he said.

Soon after AirAsia X, Fernandes also said the group was looking to list its Indonesian operations, Indonesia AirAsia.

AirAsia X is set to be the second entity controlled by Fernandes and partner Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, to go public this year, after a successful venture with Tune Insurance, in February. - Bernama

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