PH AirAsia delays IPO to 2020 or 2021

Published October 10, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

The Philippine unit of AirAsia Bhd is postponing its initial public offering (IPO) to next year or 2021 as it focuses on corporate reorganization and seeking funds from existing shareholders, its chairman said.

The low-cost airline has been looking to go public and raise around $200 million since 2015, but has shelved its plan several times because of weak markets and volatile oil prices.

“According to our estimated timeline, we are looking at the third quarter next year to first quarter of 2021,” Philippines AirAsia Chairman Joseph Omar Castillo told reporters.

Another major consideration would be a good performance of the stock market, Castillo added.

The company is being restructured after Filipino lawmaker Michael Romero bought out some investors in June to become the airline’s single largest stockholder.
The budget carrier plans to raise cash through common and preferred shares.

Philippines AirAsia was looking at a $600-million valuation and had planned to raise $200 million this year to buy aircraft acquisition and expand its routes.
It aims to grow revenues by 39% to a record P29 billion ($560 million) by carrying 10 million passengers this year, said Philippines AirAsia vice chairman Shiela Romero.

The airline, which started its Philippine operations in 2012, has a fleet of 23 Airbus aircraft catering to Philippine and foreign routes.

The Romeros’ F&S Holdings, Inc. recently acquired an additional 15.6 percent stake in AirAsia Philippines from by Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco’s TNR Holdings, increasing its total stake from 44.5 percent to 60.1 percent in the affiliate of the Malaysian low-cost carrier(LCC).

In the middle of this year, F&S Holdings of Deputy Speaker Michael L. Romero and wife Sheila B. Romero, bought out the shares of the LCC’s former Chairman Marianne B. Hontiveros and Zest-O Corp. Founder Alfredo M. Yao, hiking its stake from 15.7% to 44.4%.

“This is a business for me and my wife,” the deputy speaker told reporters yesterday during the launch of the airlines’ RedPoint office in the country. “We are taking in P30-billion revenues this year, up 39 percent from 2018 and in two years, we will have US$1 billion.”

“We’re in this business for the long-haul,” confirmed his wife, Air Asia Philippines Vice Chairman Sheila B. Romero. “We have a commitment to Filipinos. We like to give them low fares.”

Their ambition is also to displace the number one LCC in the country. “We want to go from a strong number two to the number one LCC,” she announced.

AirAsia Philippines also plans to add more international and local destinations as well increase the frequency of its flights. (Reuters and EVA)