AirAsia’s takeover of Malaysia Airlines may cost Khazanah over RM8 bil

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons/Jyi1693 at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA (]

AIRASIA Group Bhd’s (AAGB) proposed takeover of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) will include key exclusions which may take the initial cost to Khazanah Nasional Bhd (which owns all of MAB) to over RM8 bil, documents sighted by FocusM show.

These include an RM5.4 bil financing gap for MAB’s six A380s, the exclusion of an RM2.5 bil sukuk, costs of staff layoffs, and the cost of cancellation of 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 orders as well as other fleet rationalisation. All these total up to well over RM8 bil that Khazanah will have to bear even if MAB is acquired by AAGB.

The documents showed that last month AAGB chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes pitched to Khazanah managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan a merger between AAGB, its long-haul unit AirAsia X Bhd and MAB (MergedCo).

This MergedCo would be listed on Bursa Malaysia and be a “Malaysian/Asean champion.” These were some of the pull factors that entitled AAGB to be MAB’s strategic partner.

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