Golden Skies Ventures (GSV), a Malaysian firm, has offered buy the debt-ridden national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), with financing from a European bank.
The proposal has come at a time when airlines across the world remain badly hit owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reportedly floated a month ago.
has offered a capital injection of 11 billion ringgit ($2.53 billion) and to assume the airline's full outstanding Islamic bonds or sukuk," its chief executive Shahril Lamin was quoted as saying by The Edge earlier this week.
MAS has struggled to recover from two tragedies in 2014 - the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 and the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
GSV has submitted its proposal to Morgan Stanley, the banker hired by the aviation group’s sole owner Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Air France-KLM Japan Airlines and domestic carriers AIRASIA Group Bhd and Malindo Air were previously said to have shown interest in Malaysia Airlines.
GSV also has a commitment from a Japanese private equity firm to inject immediate funds into the aviation group through an equity deal.
The proposal includes maintaining the flag carrier status of Malaysia Airlines, and provision of ample liquidity to help MAS to operate comfortably for up to 18 months.
It intends to reinstate Malaysia Airlines as a premium long-haul airline by expanding its flight network and maximising utilisation of its 81-plane fleet. It also plans to keep other business units such as the budget airline, cargo freighter and maintenance repair and overhaul unit.
“(It) is still a viable venture, it has inherent strengths. We are saying we won’t lay off the 13,000 frontline employees and we are not going to asset-strip the airline,” Deputy Chief Executive Ravindran Devagunam said.