Aug 05, 2016

    AirAsia eyes buyers for majority stake in leasing arm

    AIRASIA will kick off the sale of a majority stake in its plane-leasing unit this month, a deal that could value the business at about US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion), people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

    The Malaysia-based carrier has hired three investment banks to run the sale of the Asia Aviation Capital stake, they added.

    The deal will help the airline boost its finances and slash debt after it faced criticism last year for its accounting practices.

    It plans to tap potential suitors including the leasing units of China's HNA Group, China Merchants Bank and an aviation-leasing company backed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

    AirAsia was also open to selling the unit completely, they said, and its final valuation could change depending on how talks with potential buyers proceed.

    The sources said the carrier is considering paying down debt or paying a special dividend from the proceeds.