AirAsia in share swap for stake in Malaysian carrier

City A.M. Reporter
MALAYSIAN Airline System (MAS) and rival AirAsia are planning a share swap that would give AirAsia’s parent a 20 per cent stake in Malaysia’s national airline, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said yesterday.

Under the deal, Malaysia’s state investment arm, Khazanah Nasional, which currently owns close to 70 per cent of MAS, would take a 10 per cent stake in AirAsia, said the source who asked not to be identified.

“This will help to improve synergies between the two,” the source said. “They have been competing unnecessarily in the past and they will now pool their resources together.”

The share swap is expected to aid MAS, which has struggled to stay profitable, analysts said.

AirAsia’s chief executive, Tony Fernandes, and his deputy Kamarudin Meranun, will sit on the board of MAS after the restructuring, the source said.