Air Asia considering IPO in the Philippines following US listing 

Capital A, the parent company of the Air Asia family of airlines, is considering different options to raise funds within the framework of the group’s ongoing reorganization, the WSJ has reported. 

One of the supposed goals of this strategy is to facilitate Capital A’s exit from its current Malaysian PN17 status, an indicator used by Bursa Malaysia, Malaysia’s stock market, to designate companies in some level of financial distress. 

In recent media statements, Capital A’s chairman, Tony Fernandes, has expressed the firm’s willingness to shed this label, claiming that in his opinion it doesn’t reflect the current growth trajectory of Capital A’s businesses. 

According to these media reports, once Capital A has successfully completed a US Nasdaq listing via its merger with Aetherium Acquisition Corp (a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC), it would also float 20 to 30% of its Philippines subsidiary in the Manila stock market and sell shares in the Indonesian capital markets as well. 

The SPAC deal with Aetherium Acquisition Corp was approved in March 2024 and could be completed before the end of the year. 

Meanwhile, Capital A’s airline businesses are undergoing their own reorganization, with the group’s long-haul subsidiary Air Asia X merging with the rest of the group’s airlines, which operate short and medium haul routes throughout the region. This move is expected to simplify the integrated management of the airline business and optimize its pooled resources.  

For example, as Fernandes explained during AeroTime’s visit to Air Asia’s HQ in Kuala Lumpur last January, the group’s Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft could be deployed to serve regional routes with high demand and high traffic density.  

Smaller narrow-body aircraft with extended range, such as the new A321LR Air Asia is about to receive, could in turn become tools for testing new routes to unproven long-distance markets. 

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