Monday, 17 June 2013

Tune Hotels eyes listing on 2015

After the launch of AirAsia X's initial public offering (IPO) and the proposed listing of AirAsia Indonesia, budget hotel operator, Tune Hotels Regional Services Sdn Bhd, is expected to be listed in 2015.

Tune Group founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the company aims to be listed on Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd.

"We are looking for an IPO in the next two years. Tune Hotels will be the sixth entity under the Tune Group to go for listing," he told reporters at the launching of Tune Hotels' first hotel in Australia today.

Fernandes said before the proposed IPO, Tune Hotels should well-position itself in the international hotel industry, with a sustainable cashflow and business strategies.

"Profitability is the most core issue when a company goes for public listing. This is because the company is committed and answerable to the people who have invested in the company," he said.

Tune Hotels is part of the Tune Group, a lifestyle business conglomerate co-founded by Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.

AirAsia Bhd, the home airline unit of Tune Group and the AirAsia Group, were listed in November 2004, followed by the listing of Asia Aviation -- an investment holding company of Thai AirAsia, on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in May 2012.

Tune Insurance was listed on the local bourse in February. AirAsia's long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X, followed suit with its IPO launched last week.

AirAsia Indonesia is expected to be listed in the fourth quarter of this year, with up to US$200 million to be raised through the proposed IPO.

Meanwhile, Tune Hotels Chief Executive Officer Mark Lankester said a 2015 listing would be the most appropriate period for the company as it has laid out clear expansion plans to position itself among other hoteliers in the world.

By end-2014, the company aimed to operate at least 50 hotels in 12 countries, which include new ventures in Japan, Middle East, Africa, Austria and Italy, he said.

Currently, the company runs 29 hotels in six countries, with about five million guests having stayed at Tune Hotels to date.

The 30th hotel, to be opened in November, will be the company's maiden hotel in Australia. The 225-room property in Melbourne entails an investment of US$50 million to US$60 million.

"The next immediate country that we will be venturing into is Japan, with the opening of a hotel in Okinawa at the end of the third quarter.

"We've started to lay strong groundwork since six years ago and I think we should continue doing that for another two years before proceeding with an IPO," he told Bernama.

On the home front, Lankester said Tune Hotels would be expanding to Alor Setar, Cyberjaya and Melaka soon and negotiations are underway to open a hotel in Sibu.

He said Melbourne will be positioned as the company's hub for its growth plans in Australia and New Zealand.

"I think Sydney will be our next location. We aim to have at least three to four hotels in Australia by 2015 depending on the demand," he added.-- Bernama

Read more: Tune Hotels eyes listing on 2015

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