Minority shareholders of Malaysia Airlines back buyout plan
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Minority shareholders of Malaysia Airlines voted on Thursday, November 6, in favor of a $420 million bid by its majority owner, state fund Khazanah Nasional, to privatize the loss-making carrier which suffered two air tragedies this year.
The approval moves Khazanah Nasional, the state investment holding arm of the Malaysian government which owns a 70% stake in the carrier, closer to implementing its restructuring plans to return the company to profitability.
"Our shareholders' approval represents a first but major hurdle crossed, and there is much more to be done," group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.
Two months ago, Khazanah Nasional pledged $1.9 billion to revive the airline within 3 years.
Its ambitious plan also includes slashing 6,000 jobs and trimming routes in a bid to stave off bankruptcy.
Malaysia Airlines has bled money for years, with analysts blaming poor management and a failure to keep up with industry competition.
But the outflow has become a torrent due to this year's twin disasters.
MH370 mysteriously vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard.
MH17 went down July 18 – believed hit by a surface-to-air missile – in rebellion-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on the plane.
Malaysia Airlines previously had a solid safety record. – Rappler.com