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Legislator sole AirAsia Phl owner




Air Asia’s Airbus A320 jetliner.

House Deputy Speaker Michael “Mikee” Romero, who is also representative of 1-Pacman Partylist, is now the sole local owner of Philippines AirAsia Inc.

At the sidelines of the launching of its new headquarters in Pasay City on Wednesday, he said he acquired the remaining 15 percent stake in AirAsia Philippines from businessman Tony Boy Cojuangco through his company TNR Holdings.

“We have successfully acquired 15.6 percent of the last remaining shares of local partners. And we have acquired TNR Holdings for my family’s stake in AirAsia to be 60 percent,” Romero said.
The remaining 40 percent is owned by AirAsia Group founders Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Menardum.

Asked for the rationale behind the purchase, he said: “This is business for me and my wife that we can pass on to the next generation,” adding that it would serve as his family’s long-term investment.

‘Billion-dollar carrier’

At the same briefing, Romero said he looks to transform AirAsia Philippines into a billion-dollar company in revenue terms over the next few years.

“We have a business plan… to grow this company into a billion-dollar (firm) in terms of revenues, and that billion dollars, we’ll hit it probably 2021 or 2022,” he said.

He said he was also targeting net income of $100 million by then.

For this year, AirAsia Philippines expects to book P29 billion in revenues and P2 billion in net income, or a reversal from a series of net losses the past few years as a result of the company’s acquisition of Zest Air.

To date, the new said AirAsia Philippines shoulder bared booking P25 billion in revenues.

As part of its expansion plans, the company looks to acquire three more aircraft this year and at least five more next year, in line with efforts to register 50 aircraft in its portfolio over the next five years.

“With the frequency of flights, with the competitive advantage that we now have been showing all our customers, this is the time where we really like to gain that competitive advantage,” said Sheila Bermudez-Romero, wife of the tycoon-politician.

IPO in the offing

To help finance its expansion plans, Romero said AirAsia Philippines remains interested in listing its shares at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The budget carrier is now considering a corporate restructuring that will include filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission an application to increase its authorized capital stock.

Upon clearing approval, AirAsia Philippines targets to publicly-list between the third quarter of 2020 up to early 2021.

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