AirAsia's Fernandes plans triple IPO in 2013

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 11 2012 02:09 PM | Updated as of Oct 12 2012 02:22 AM

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes plans to raise up to $550 million by listing shares in the long-haul arm and Indonesian unit of AirAsia as well as in his insurance firm, a source said Thursday.

The plan comes as Fernandes tries to tap the Kuala Lumpur exchange's popularity as a centre to launch initial public offerings, which has seen it rise to fourth globally despite the global slowdown.

A source familiar with the deal told AFP on condition of anonymity that the three listings -- the long-haul AirAsia X, the Indonesian unit and Tune Insurance -- were worth between $400 million and $550 million.

AirAsia chairman Aziz Bakar told AFP that work was in progress for the triple initial public offering but declined any details.

"We are working on it. God willing we would be able to launch the three listing by early next year," he said.

Aziz said the three companies were growing fast and needed funds to expand in a bigger marketplace.

"So we need to go listing. It is a cheaper way to raise funds," he said.

Aziz said despite the slowdown in Europe and the United States, AirAsia X would press ahead with its expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific.

"As far as we are concerned, our market is growing and we are opening up more routes," he said.

Tune Group is owned by Fernandes and his deputy Kamarudin Meranum who are founders of AirAsia, the region's largest budget carrier.

Fernandes, who also owns Formula One team Caterham, could not be reached for comment.

The former record industry executive stepped down in June as chief executive officer of the Malaysian-listed AirAsia and shifted his office to Jakarta to concentrate on regional growth through Indonesia.

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