Fri, Mar 29, 2013 - Page 14 News List

TransAsia Airways to seek foreign strategic investors

INTERNATIONALIZATION:The firm said it has been eyeing two overseas investors that are known to the public and that it plans to sell up to 50 million shares

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空), one of the three listed air carriers in Taiwan, is planning a private placement in a year to seek foreign strategic investors and in a move toward internationalization of its capital.

The airline’s board of directors on Wednesday passed a proposal to sell up to 50 million shares in a year to increase its working capital and repay loans, a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said.

TransAsia said it has been eyeing two foreign strategic investors, both known to the public, but that details are pending its next board meeting in May.

In October 2011, TransAsia raised NT$898 million (US$29.99 million) from two strategic foreign investors, including Paradigm Transportation Holdings BV — a subsidiary of Paradigm Venture Partners LLC that holds about a 9 percent stake in TransAsia.

The board yesterday also passed a US$114 million proposal to sell and lease back two Airbus SAS 321-200 aircraft.

TransAsia also announced it plans to pay a cash dividend of NT$0.1 to its shareholders based on last year’s earnings, lower than its previous NT$0.2 cash dividend.

TranAsia posted NT$100.53 million in net profits last year, down from NT$663.96 million a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Compared with TransAsia, EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空) — the nation’s second-largest carrier — has decided not to pay a dividend this year, the second straight year it has not paid a dividend to shareholders.

EVA posted consolidated net profits of NT$1.04 billion, or earnings per share of NT$0.15, last year, compared with NT$750.93 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.06, the previous year, the company said in a filing.

The nation’s largest carrier, China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), has not announced its net profit for last year or its dividend strategy. The airline said its board is meeting next week to make a decision.

CAL and EVA shares fell 1.69 percent and 1.67 percent to close at NT$11.6 and NT$17.65 respectively yesterday, while TransAsia shares closed up 1.04 percent at NT$14.6.

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