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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  8 October  2015  



AirAsia sounding out investors to take company private

FOUNDERS of Asia’s No 1 budget carrier AirAsia Bhd are sounding out investors to take the company private in a management-led buyout, after its shares took a beating this year following a critical research report, people familiar with the matter said.

AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes and his long-time business partner Kamarudin Meranun are working with banks to secure financing for the transaction, which could be launched over the next few months, said the people, who did not want to be identified as the discussions are confidential.

Obtaining financing will be key for the deal to succeed, the people said.

An AirAsia spokeswoman had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

The airline’s market value has fallen 40 per cent to RM3.51 billion (US$803 million) since Hong Kong-based GMT Research questioned AirAsia’s accounts in a report in June. The report came as AirAsia was under pressure to turn around its loss-making affiliates and was being squeezed by industry overcapacity in a low-margin business.

Group CEO Fernandes, who has led the airline’s rise from a two-plane operation in 2002 to a billion-dollar business, has steadfastly defended the company’s finances and outlook and said the market was undervaluing it.

Tune Air, jointly owned by Fernandes and Meranun, owns about 19 per cent of AirAsia. The plan to take the airline private comes a decade after it was listed on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange priced at RM1.25 for institutional investors, around where it was trading on Tuesday.



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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?


AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

 


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