Malaysia Airlines has been taken off the stock market to become a nationalised private company.
Shares in the financially-troubled carrier, which is reportedly considering a rebranding campaign that may include a company name change and network restructuring, were today suspended from trading and MAS delisted.
Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Malaysian government, is currently the majority stakeholder in MAS with a 69.4 per cent share. It has announced that it will now take full ownership of the airline.
A statement issued by Khazanah said MAS will undergo a “complete overhaul” as the company looks to restructure its business in hopes of a quick turnaround.
Khazanh is now looking to purchase all remaining MAS stocks with an offer of 0.27 ringgit (US$0.08) per share – approximately 12.5 per cent above the closing price yesterday.
In total, the move will cost Khazanah some 1.4 billion ringgit (US$435 million) but it will also provide MAS a much needed respite from the harsh reality of the stock market as it faces the daunting task of regaining public trust after the disappearance of flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean and the tragic shootdown of MH17 over Ukraine (see news, July 17).
Malaysia Airlines responded to today’s announcement with a statement.
It reads: “We have received notice of Khazanah’s intentions to take full ownership and delist Malaysia Airlines. Our board of directors will be deliberating this proposal and an official response from the company will be issued later. During this period, our business operations remains unchanged.”