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AVIATION - KINGFISHER AILRINES IPO OR STAKE SALE

Kingfisher Airlines undecided on stake sale


 

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

19 September, 2005: The Vijay Mallya-promoted budget airline Kingfisher Airlines may either go for an initial public offering or divest stake to private investors in its bid to raise funds for its ambitious expansion plans.

This was revealed by its chairman Vijay Mallya at the annual general meeting of United Breweries Limited in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. Kingfisher is a fully-owned subsidiary of UB Holdings.

"Many people are keen to invest in Kingfisher Airlines," the flamboyant UB group chairman said.

Vijay Malla had made his intentions clear to go for an IPO some time back, though he did not elaborate on specifics. "It all depends on right value. We have never sold cheap," Mallya said.

The fledgling Kingfisher Airlines had placed 10 firm orders and 20 optional orders with European aircraft maker Airbus recently.

Analysts say that many of the optional orders would be converted into firm orders, as indicated by Mallya himself. "We have to think about converting some of those optionals into firm orders," he told reporters.

Kingfisher’s order of A330s is due for delivery in 2007, A380s in 2010 and A350s after 2012. Mallya indicated that as and when Kingfisher takes delivery of wide-bodied aircraft, public funding would be an integral part of financing.

Mallya also said he was of the opinion that the low cost airlines in India have spurred competition and would lead to a bloodbath. He said Kingfisher was not concerned about competition thrown up by other low-frills airlines as its target group was the young, emerging consumer class and not the high-end railway passengers whom budget airlines like Air Deccan aim to rope in.

BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT

 

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