Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Government Fund With Majority Malaysia Airlines Stake Considers Taking It Private
Mon., July 21, 2014
The government fund that owns a majority stake in Malaysia Airlines is increasingly leaning toward taking the company private, after the carrier lost a second plane in five months, according to people familiar with the matter. Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Malaysia's state investment fund and holder of a 69% stake in flag-carrier operator Malaysian Airline System Bhd., had already been considering a purchase of the rest of the company, along with other restructuring proposals, even before a full flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine on Thursday. The loss of Flight 17, along with a subsequent plunge in Malaysia Airlines's stock price and the threat of plummeting revenue if passengers abandon future flights, is strengthening the case for taking the company private—although other options remain on the table, said the people familiar with the matter. A plan for Khazanah Nasional to buy the rest of Malaysia Airlines's shares may be announced as soon as early August, one of the people told The Wall Street Journal. Khazanah Nasional owns assets worth $40 billion in about 50 firms spread across sectors as diverse as banks, telecommunications, hospitals and theme parks.