Tue, May 14, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Fernandes hoping to raise US$300m from AirAsia X IPO

AFP, KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes plans to raise up to US$300 million by listing shares in the long-haul arm of AirAsia, slated for July, a source said yesterday.

AirAsia X would sell 790.12 million shares in the initial public offering (IPO) with listing scheduled for July 10 on Bursa Malaysia, a source familiar with the deal said on condition of anonymity.

The funds are expected to be used for a mixture of activities including capital expenditure and repayment of loans.

Fernandes, who declined to reveal details of the IPO due to regulatory compliance, said that a roadshow to promote his airline business would start in the second week of next month with retail investors being his primary target.

“Going to do a much larger retail offering to give back something to the thousands of people who flew and supported us. Roadshow will start in the second week of June,” he said in an e-mailed message.

“I will go on the road to meet retail investors,” he added.

The listing comes as Fernandes tries to tap the Kuala Lumpur exchange’s popularity as a center to launch initial public offerings.

Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst with Standard and Poor’s Equity Research in Singapore said the AirAsia X listing would be a success.

“It is doable. With Tony at the helm it lends credibility to the IPO. The financial market is conducive and there is an appetite for shares in a low cost carrier especially one with a proven track record like AirAsia, despite the global economic turbulence,” he said.

AirAsia X flies to cities in Australia, Japan and China from Kuala Lumpur.

Fernandes has previously announced plans to list AirAsia’s Indonesian unit and Tune Insurance in a bid to raise funds to expand in a bigger marketplace.

Tune Group is owned by Fernandes and his deputy, Kamarudin Meranum, who are founders of AirAsia, the region’s largest budget carrier.

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