Monday 27 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): Capital A Bhd said it is in the "last stretch" of finalising its Practice Note 17 (PN17) regularisation plan and aims to make a full submission to Bursa Malaysia in "the near future".

"This careful planning ensures that our restructuring reviews and discussions are thorough, and reflect our dedication to long-term stability and strategic adaptability," it said in a bourse filing on Thursday.

Bursa Malaysia had granted Capital A its third extension of time — until Dec 31, 2023, this round — to submit its regularisation plan to the regulatory authorities.

The group had triggered the criteria for PN17 in July 2020, after its external auditors EY issued an unqualified audit opinion with material uncertainty relating to going concern in respect of its audited financial statements for FY2019, plus its shareholders’ equity on a consolidated basis was 50% or less of its share capital.

Notably, Capital A had announced earlier this month that it plans to float its AirAsia brand royalty business and aircraft leasing unit in the US through a Nasdaq-listed special purpose acquisition company named Aetherium Acquisition Corp (GMFI) as part of its plans to regularise its financials. The group is seeking an indicative valuation of US$1 billion for the listing exercise.

Last Wednesday, its sister company AirAsia X Bhd exited PN17 status after its appeal was allowed by Bursa Malaysia.

The medium-haul low-cost carrier said the regulator would allow the group's appeal and exempt it from submitting a regularisation plan if it posted a net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2023; it reported a net profit of RM5.56 million, down 77.83% compared with RM25.09 million posted for the same period last year due to higher aircraft fuel expenses and maintenance and overhaul costs.

While investors on Bursa Malaysia await Capital A's regularisation plan, the group said it is considering various financing options for its operations in Indonesia and the Philippines, which could include an imminent initial public offering (IPO) for AirAsia Philippines and further equity raising from AirAsia Indonesia.

This comes after the airline business accessed the third instalment of a loan from Bangkok Bank, with the final settlement expected by the end of this quarter.

In addition, a US$200 million revenue bond intended for expansion of the aviation business is in progress, said the group.

"In the meantime, AirAsia MOVE is nearing the end of its due diligence for an investment by a private equity, and Teleport has recently secured their approved loan to enhance its working capital," the group said.

Capital A  chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes had previously indicated that the AirAsia Philippines unit is planning an IPO for 2024, revisiting a fundraising strategy that was put on hold multiple times.

Group to start announcing profit forecast in 2024

Looking ahead to 2024, Fernandes said the group is projecting a significant upswing.

"With the absence of one-off costs, and the reactivation of our full fleet, coupled with the restoration of frequencies, we are strategically poised for a more resilient performance. This collective initiative positions us for a stronger 2024, beating the benchmark set in 2019," he said in a separate statement.

He also expressed his commitment to maximising value for those who have been supporting the group unwaveringly, especially through the pandemic.

"Your trust and support are invaluable, and I have strived tirelessly to ensure that whatever we do translates into the best outcomes for all of our stakeholders. As part of our commitment, I am excited to share that we will start announcing a profit forecast in 2024. This journey is just the beginning to reward shareholders’ faith with our commitment to deliver tangible success and sustainable growth," he added.

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn & Tan Choe Choe
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