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MANILA, Philippines – Capital A Berhad, the parent company of budget airline AirAsia, has announced that it plans to list its brand management and leasing businesses in the US Nasdaq stock exchange through a blank check company.
Capital A Berhad said that it entered into a letter of intent with Aetherium Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, on Friday, November 3. This is the latest step in a plan that would bring some businesses under the Malaysian holding company public.
Under the plan, Capital A International, a new “investment and strategic development company, will be created. Capital A International will then acquire 100% equity interest in the company holding AirAsia’s brand rights and an aircraft leasing company, both of which are currently under Capital A Berhad.”
Aetherium Acquisition, the blank check company, will then acquire all the issued and outstanding share capital of Capital A International, resulting in the entity being listed in Nasdaq. The proposed “business combination” will have an indicative equity value of $1 billion.
“This is only affecting our brand company, AirAsia Brand Co. and leasing company, Fleet Leasing Co,” a spokesperson from AirAsia Philippines told Rappler on Friday.
The spokesperson also confirmed that the deal will not result in the listing of Capital A Berhad’s other companies, such as AirAsia Philippines and the low-cost carrier’s logistics arm Teleport.
“We are taking the first step to venture out of our home ground, which is ASEAN, and exploring listing on the pinnacle of markets in terms of capital raising,” said Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of Capital A Berhad, in a Friday press release.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic crippled air travel, Capital A has faced questions over its liquidity constraints and debt levels, which at one point reached $15.3 billion. Capital A is currently classified as a financially distressed company by the Malaysian government. – with a report from Reuters/Rappler.com