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AirAsia to list through New York spac: FT

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 2 min read
AirAsia to list through New York spac: FT
Tony Fernandes. Photo: Bloomberg
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Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes is planning to raise over US$1 billion in debt and equity for his Capital A conglomerate (formerly AirAsia). He is also preparing to list some of its businesses through a special purpose acquisition company (spac) or a blank-cheque company in New York, according to an article in the Financial Times.

Fernandes was said to have struck a deal with Nasdaq-listed spac Aetherium Acquisition. He is also said to list several businesses – including a new business extending the AirAsia brand – through Aetherium in 2024, according to the paper’s sources.

Capital A has been classified as a distressed company by the Malaysian government in 2021 although the company has asked Bursa Malaysia to lift its classification in July this year.

The deal with Aetherium is expected to be finalised in early 2024, according to the Financial Times’ source. The spac closed its US$115 million ($157.4 million) initial public offering (IPO) of 11.5 million units in January 2022.

“Capital A still has a lot of debt, which is concerning, but operationally things are going quite well. This year looks like it will be better than the year before Covid,” says Aletheia Capital analyst Nirgunan Tiruchelvam.

“US capital markets are generally much more tolerant of finances like this than markets in Asia,” he adds. “Fernandes has an extraordinary ability to energise his investor audience.”

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