AirAsia X Chooses Manara & Orix As New Investors - Aviation News@Bernama.com
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AirAsia X Chooses Manara & Orix As New Investors

February 14, 2008 14:22 PM E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 (Bernama) -- Bahrain-based Manara Consortium and Japan-based Orix Corp have taken a total 20 percent stake in long haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X Sdn Bhd for RM250 million.

Manara and Orix will each receive 16.7 million newly issued common shares of AirAsia X or 10 percent of the long haul low-cost carrier's equity.

AirAsia X chief executive officer Azran Osman-Rani said today the stake represents an important phase of AirAsia X's growth plans as proceeds raised will enable the airline to fund aircraft orders already placed with European airplane maker Airbus and for further fleet expansion.

"We believe that AirAsia X is now well-placed to further enhance its reach to destinations in the Middle East and North Asia, and to continue to revolutionise the long-haul travel market by providing everyday low fares," he said in a statement here.

"This investment will allow AirAsia X to expand its fleet with new generation aircraft and further strengthen Malaysia's leading position as Aseans low cost carrier hub."

AirAsia X chairman Datuk Seri Kalimullah Hassan noted that Manara and Orix were selected due to the strategic nature of their investment and their ability to bring much more than just financial clout to the table.

"It is important that AirAsia X select partners which allow the company to continue to keep costs low and grow rapidly," he stressed.

"Manara will allow AirAsia X greater access to the fast-growing Middle East region while Orix will contribute its significant expertise in aviation finance and leasing."

The Manara Consortium comprises of four leading Saudi investment groups who together with 3i Group plc, have sponsored the Manara Infrastructure Fund to invest in infrastructure projects, including airlines and airports, in Islamic countries.

Manara Consortiums investment in AirAsia X will later be transferred to the Manara Infrastructure Fund.

Orix, along with its subsidiary Orix Aviation, a leading aircraft owner and lessor in Ireland with a portfolio of over 130 aircraft, will undertake its investment through its investment vehicle in Ireland. Orix is also a shareholder in Skymark Airlines, Japans leading low cost carrier.

Aero Ventures Sdn Bhd and the Virgin Group will hold a 48 percent and 16 percent stake in AirAsia X respectively, while AirAsia Bhd will maintain a 16 percent stake through its holdings of redeemable convertible preference shares.

-- BERNAMA


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