Japan’s ANA in talks to invest in PAL

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PHILIPPINE AIRLINES is in talks with potential investors.

MANILA — Japan’s ANA Holdings, Inc. said on Wednesday it is in talks with Philippine Airlines, Inc.’s parent company PAL Holdings about making an investment but it had not yet made a “concrete decision.”

Philippine Airlines is closing in on selling a minority stake to a foreign strategic investor, with a deal likely to be sealed in the first half of this year, its president said on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported the carrier was finalizing a deal with ANA. Shares in PAL Holdings surged on Wednesday, closing up 42% at the highest price since August 2016.

An ANA spokeswoman said the airline continually reviewed its market strategy and was considering investments that fit with its medium-term corporate strategy. The Japanese carrier already owns an 8.8% stake in Vietnam Airlines.

“We are in discussion with PAL Holdings but we have not made a concrete decision yet,” the ANA spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

Philippine Airlines is “talking to several investors” about the stake, President Jaime Bautista said, but he declined to name the investors due to confidentiality agreements.

“We have not signed any agreement with any of the possible investors,” he told Reuters.

Philippine Airlines, a loss-making carrier, fours years ago hatched a plan to bring on board a strategic investor to help boost revenues and fast-track an expansion program. — Reuters