KKR exits 10-year investment in Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation

KKR exits 10-year investment in Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation

Photo by Anti on Unsplash

Global investment giant KKR & Co Inc has exited its investment in Malaysia’s Weststar Aviation, according to a company announcement. KKR’s stake — worth 21% — was bought by the helicopter service company’s parent Weststar Group, which is now its sole shareholder.

The size of the transaction was not disclosed.

Founded in 2003, Weststar Aviation is owned by Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, one of Malaysia’s richest persons. According to the company, the offshore helicopter service company is one of Southeast Asia’s largest by fleet size, serving markets including Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. 

Its main operations include serving major oil and gas players with a helicopter fleet to transport personnel to offshore production platforms and drilling rigs.

KKR initially purchased a stake in the company for roughly $200 million back in 2013. In 2019, it was reported that KKR was nearing a partial exit by selling a portion of its stake of 40% at the time. 

Last May, Weststar Group was considering an initial public offering (IPO) for Weststar Aviation. The company was also looking to raise funds for its helicopter unit in a pre-IPO round by selling a 20% stake, seeking a valuation of approximately $2 billion, including debt.

KKR raised nearly $6 billion for its second Asia-Pacific infrastructure fund last October, the biggest fund of its kind in the region, per a Reuters report. Last December, KKR secured another $180 million from UK-based Border to Coast Pensions Partnership for the same infrastructure fund.

In addition to fundraising, the PE firm doubled down on Asia-Pacific last year with its deals. Last November, KKR announced that it closed its tender offer to acquire Japan’s Hitachi Transport System. The deal was reported to be valued at $4.8 billion, per Reuters’ calculations.

Edited by: Pramod Mathew

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