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Philippines AirAsia postpones initial public offering anew

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PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. is still hoping to go public by next year or early 2021. — DENISE A. VALDEZ

PHILIPPINES AirAsia, Inc. is deferring its initial public offering (IPO) to the third quarter of 2020 or first quarter of 2021, its chairman said on Wednesday.

“On the IPO, we are still undergoing a restructuring of our corporate organization. With that we just received the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) endorsement for us to increase our capital stock to P1.5 billion, so we are going to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) now to have that processed and registered,” Philippines AirAsia, Inc. Chairman Joseph Omar A. Castillo said at a news conference in Pasay City on Wednesday.

“So there is still a number of things to do on the corporate side to prepare this company for an IPO. But, according to our timeline, we are looking at the third quarter next year to first quarter of 2021,” he said.

The low-cost carrier has postponed its planned public offering several times due to market volatility.

Michael L. Romero, owner of Philippines AirAsia majority stakeholder F&S Holdings, Inc., said they are still looking at a $1 billion valuation for the company.

“We are looking at the $1 billion valuation. If we feel 20% (for IPO), that’s $200 million which will accelerate ‘yung business plan ng AirAsia of hitting the $1 billion (target)… supposedly in 2022. If we do the IPO, we are accelerating it by a year,” Mr. Romero said.




F&S Holdings, owned by Mr. Romero and his wife Sheila B. Romero, has increased its stake in Philippines AirAsia to 60% from 44.4%, after acquiring the 15.6% stake held by businessman Antonio “Tonyboy” O. Cojuangco’s TNR Holdings.

“We have successfully acquired the 15.6% of the last remaining share of the local partners, and we have acquired TNR Holdings to raise my family’s stake in AirAsia to 60%,” Mr. Romero said, but declined to give details of the acquisition.

Mr. Romero said he is confident in the business prospects of the local unit of AirAsia, saying it has a “very solid foundation.”

“It’s a legacy that we would like to pass on to our children. It’s a commitment that we would like to give to the Filipino people. It is a core value of AirAsia… and we would like to give lower fares for a lot of people who travel to see the world,” Ms. Romero, chairperson of F&S Holdings, said.

For this year, Mr. Romero said Philippines AirAsia targets to post a net income of P2 billion and P29 billion revenue. Last year, the budget carrier posted a P2.11 billion loss.

In the second quarter, Philippines AirAsia saw a 777% surge in profit to P593.07 million, as revenues rose 38% to P7.51 billion.

For the first three months of 2019, the airline booked a profit of P424.5 million, up 12% from the same period a year ago on the back of a 27% increase in revenues at P6.68 billion.

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