Japan Airlines raises $8.5bn in top Asian float

Michael Bow
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JAPAN Airlines, the carrier nationalised by the Japanese government in 2010, yesterday secured top price for its initial public offering, making it the second biggest float of the year after Facebook.

The offering, which was six times oversubscribed by investors, was priced at ¥3,790 (£30.24), the upper limit of a range between ¥3,500 and ¥3,790.

The float values the company at $8.49bn, the second biggest float of the year after Facebook’s $16bn listing on the Nasdaq in May and the biggest this year on Asian markets.

Under the terms of the offering, a quarter of shares have been bought by international buyers such as big UK institutional investors, with the rest distributed domestically among Japanese investors.

The book closed on Friday and shares will start trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday 19 September.

Japan Airlines went bust in 2010 with debts of $25bn. The government came to the rescue, buying a 96.5 per cent stake through its the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan vehicle to keep the company alive.

The selloff gives the Japanese government – which by law had to sell the company by the end of the year – a substantial premium on the ¥350bn it originally ploughed into the firm.

In June, the firm posted a 12.5 per cent surge in its operating revenues in its full year results, increasing it to ¥286.7bn.


The main global co-ordinator for the Japan Airlines float was Daiwa Securities, which handled both the domestic Japanese and international offering to investors.

Leading on the float for clients in Europe and Middle East was the head of Daiwa Securities Equity Capital Markets division in London, Shuntaro Nagashima.

Shuntaro previously worked in Daiwa’s Tokyo and New York office before transferring to London and becoming head of the firm’s Equity Capital Markets business. Nagashima worked on a number of debt deals in the ECM role, the biggest deal to date being the ¥200bn convertible bond offering from mobile operator KDDI in 2011. Also playing a smaller role for overseas investors in the Japan Airlines float was Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.