AirAsia eyes Indonesia unit IPO by Q1 next year
KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 – Low cost airline AirAsia Bhd is looking to list its Indonesia operations by the first quarter of next year as it moves its regional base to southeast Asia’s largest economy to focus on further expansion, said its co-founder.
The initial public offering (IPO) will follow its planned listing of the group’s long haul unit AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, which is expected to fall some time between October and November this year, AirAsia’s group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (picture) said today.
“No banks have been mandated yet though,” he told some reporters after a press conference. “It’s up to the board to decide.”
AirAsia’s IPOs plan comes at a time when Fernandes is stepping down as the chief executive officer of the Malaysian listed airline to focus on regional growth through Indonesia.
“The enormous potential in an underserved market of 3 billion people spread across Asean, Northeast Asia and South Asia offers huge opportunities and AirAsia, we are convinced, is ideally positioned to reap huge dividends by serving this market,” Fernandes said.
His Malaysia’s role will be succeeded by Aireen Omar, currently AirAsia’s regional head of corporate finance and treasury, from next month onwards.
AirAsia holds a 49 per cent stake in PT Indonesia AirAsia, which operates 17 Airbus A320 aircraft and flies to six cities in Indonesia, four others in Southeast Asia and one Australia, according to AirAsia’s 2011 annual report.
It listed its Thailand operations via Asia Aviation Pcl in the Thai market in May in a deal that raised 4.5 billion baht (RM451.79 million) to further fund its fleet expansion.
The company’s plan to list its units comes at a time when others have scrapped or delayed their IPOs on the back of market volatility driven by the protracted euro zone debt crisis.
The owners of German chemical company Evonik are reportedly scrapping their plans for what could have been Europe’s biggest initial public offering in more than a year. – Reuters