AirAsia X listing timely, says Tony Fernandes

The listing of AirAsia X Bhd is timely for the long-haul affiliate of AirAsia Bhd as the airline is currently at a time when it needs cash to really grow, says AirAsia Group Chief Executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

However, from the stock market standpoint, he said there was never really a good or bad time for AirAsia X to get listed.

"My philosophy is, in market peak, maybe you get a few hundred million ringgit more, but you'll miss the opportunity to grow, and for me, we just do it as long as we can do it.

"We're not greedy about how much we are going to get, as long as we get enough to grow and grow," he told reporters on the sidelines of the CIMB Annual Asia Pacific Conference, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

AirAsia X is scheduled to be listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia this month, after having deferred its initial listing that was planned for the first quarter of 2013.

On AirAsia X's proposed initial public offering (IPO), Fernandes said the company had submitted all the listing-related documents, including listing application and prospectus, to the Securities Commission for approval and was now awaiting a favourable reply.

AirAsia X is expected to raise proceeds of about RM775 million, or 97 sen per share, from the IPO, out of which half will be utilised to repay bank borrowings and 21.5 per cent for capital expenditure.

The medium to long-haul carrier had initially targeted a first-quarter listing but was shelved to a later date.

Fernandes said AirAsia X's listing would be different as the airline was planning to diversify and enlarge its shareholding ownership by giving first priority of share subscription to Malaysians who have flown on AirAsia X and contributed to the success of the airline.

On post-listing plans, Fernandes said from the IPO standpoint, AirAsia Indonesia would probably be the next entity the group would look at. "For AirAsia X now, we focus on delivering the earnings and making sure that they can deliver what they say they going to deliver," he added. - Bernama, June 21, 2013.


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