PAL expects Cambodia Air deal to push through

By Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Sep 26 2013 08:28 AM | Updated as of Sep 26 2013 06:38 PM

MANILA -- Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects no more delays in the completion of the deal with Royal Group of Cambodia (RCG) to form Cambodia Airlines Co. Ltd.

“Yes, it should be done,” said PAL President Ramon Ang in a text message, when asked if the closing date for the transaction with RCG will take place on October 15 as earlier announced.

The original target date for PAL to complete a joint venture with Cambodia’s Inter Logistics (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. (ILC) was on July 15.

PAL is pouring $10 million for a 49-percent stake in Cambodia Airlines, which is 100-percent owned by ILC. ILC is owned by RGC’s Neak Oknha Kith Meng.

PAL was supposed to make a down payment of $1 million of the total acquisition cost on the completion of closing conditions targeted on July 15. The balance of $9 million will be paid upon the call of the board of Cambodia Air.

Among the closing conditions include the registration of the investment of PAL in Cambodia Air; and procurement by Cambodia Air of all the necessary franchises, permits, and licenses to operate and maintain an airline company.

PAL Holdings is the listed parent firm of the flag carrier, while PAL is a joint venture between businessman Lucio C. Tan and conglomerate San Miguel Corp., which is led by Ang.

The PAL executive earlier said the flag carrier will acquire 71 new Airbus airplanes in the next five years from the previously announced 65. These include 21 Airbus A330s, 44 A321s and six A340s.

The conglomerate is beefing up its portfolio of aviation-related assets. Its unit, Trans Aire Development Holdings Corp., has been awarded a 25-year contract to rehabilitate and operate the Caticlan airport. It has also joined the bid for the P17.5-billion expansion project of the Mactan-Cebu international airport.

PAL also said will return to Europe after 15 years of absence. It is set to fly to London on November 4.