8:29 pm - Thursday January 17, 2019

Malaysia Airlines set for complete overhaul

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Malaysia’s state investment company said on Friday it plans to remove struggling Malaysia Airlines from the country’s stock exchange, making it fully state-owned before a far-reaching overhaul of its business.

Malaysia Airlines has been hit by two major disasters this year, which added to its longstanding financial woes.

 Khazanah Nasional, which owns 69 per cent of the carrier, said it has proposed to the airline’s board of directors that it buy out minority shareholders at 27 sen (8 cents) a share, a 12.5 per cent premium to the airline’s closing share price on Thursday. The takeover would cost 1.38 billion ringgit ($429 million).

Khazanah said the delisting will represent the first stage of a “complete overhaul” of the loss-making airline, and that detailed plans will be announced by the end of this month.

 “The proposed restructuring will critically require all parties to work closely together to undertake what will be a complete overhaul of the national carrier,” it said in a statement. “Nothing less will be required in order to revive our national airline to be profitable as a commercial entity and to serve its function as a critical national development entity.”

 In March, Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared with 239 people on board after flying far of course. The plane has still not been found, with a search in the southern Indian Ocean underway.

In July, 298 people were killed when Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine. It was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam and was shot out of the sky over an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian rebels.


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