Malaysia's Weststar Group weighs local IPO of KKR-backed helicopter unit: report

Photo by Anti on Unsplash

Malaysia-based The Weststar Group is considering an initial public offering of its helicopter services unit in Kuala Lumpur to raise at least $300 million, Bloomberg reported.

Weststar is understood to be in talks with advisors on the listing of the helicopter service unit Weststar Aviation Services Sdn, which is backed by buyout firm KKR. The listing is expected to happen as soon as next year, the Bloomberg report added citing unnamed sources.

The Weststar Group is also looking to raise a pre-IPO round by selling a stake of 20% in the helicopter unit. The group is seeking a valuation of nearly $2 billion, including debt, for Weststar Aviation Services Sdn according to the report.

Weststar Aviation Services Sdn is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest providers of helicopters for the offshore energy industry. The company owns 44 helicopters, of which 35 are AW139.

In 2013,  KKR bought the stake in Weststar Aviation, which was its first Malaysian investment, for about $200 million.

Weststar Aviation’s clients include Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, Exxon Mobil Corp, ConocoPhillips, and Mubadala Petroleum LLC. The company has operations in countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Mauritania. It has a fleet of 44 choppers.

Founded in 2003, Weststar Group is a diversified regional corporate group with business interest in the automotive, aviation, construction, defence, and engineering sectors.

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