Thailand’s Asia Aviation seeks to raise $419m as travel picks up

REUTERS/Beawiharta

Thai AirAsia‘s parent firm, Asia Aviation Pcl (AAV) on Wednesday said it is seeking to raise 14 billion baht ($419.29 million) as part of restructuring to prepare for a regional travel restart.

“As we gear up and ready ourselves for travel resumption post-COVID, necessary changes are required for our capital raising and revenue management strategy,” AAV Executive Chairman Tassapon Bijleveld said on Wednesday.

Shares of AAV, which owns 55% of Thai AirAsia, fell over 7% on the announcement before recovering to a 3% decline on the Thai bourse, against an index gain of 0.4%.

Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd owns the remaining stake in Thai AirAsia.

AAV said it would issue convertible bonds and new shares worth 14 billion baht and aims to hold all shares in Thai AirAsia and boost the airline’s liquidity.

The announcement comes ahead of re-opening plans that would allow vaccinated arrivals from five countries including Britain and Singapore to skip quarantine from November.

“We are also looking forward to recommencing our key international routes in the near future in light of the Thai government’s country reopening plan,” Tassapon said, adding that he expects domestic operations to return to 100% by January.

The restructuring, expected to conclude in the first quarter of next year, includes new shares worth 8.8 billion baht in a private placement to AirAsia Group, plus six high net-worth Thai investors, including Palin Lojanagosin, owner of advertising firm, Plan B Media Pcl, according to the filing.

Bangkok Bank Pcl and a fund managed by Morgan Stanley will be offered 2.2 billion in convertible bonds and new shares worth 3 billion baht will be offered to existing shareholders.

Earlier this year, seven Thai carriers, including Thai AirAsia, asked the government for soft-loans worth 5 billion baht for support.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.