ANA to buy stake in Myanmar Airline
- Published: 27/08/2013 at 03:25 PM
- Online news:
ANA Holdings Inc, Japan’s largest airline, will buy a stake in Myanmar’s Asian Wings Airways Ltd as it becomes the latest company to expand in the Southeast Asian country.
The Japanese carrier will pay US$25 million for a 49% stake in the Myanmar company, the Tokyo-based carrier said in a statement on Tuesday.
ANA joins Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc and Unilever Plc in expanding in the nation of 64 million people, after the United States eased sanctions last year as Myanmar moved toward democracy following five decades of military rule. South Korea's Incheon International Airport Corp won a $1.1 billion contract this month to build a new international airport for Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, to increase passenger capacity fivefold on expectations of soaring demand.
Travellers queue in front of the Asian Wings Airways check-in counters at the domestic terminal of Yangon International Airport in Yangon. (Bloomberg photo)
Asian Wings, based in Yangon, is a closely-held airline that started flying in 2011 and operates three Avions de Transport Regional ATR72 planes and an Airbus SAS A321, according to its website. It operates routes to "all major tourist destinations" in Myanmar, the site says.
ANA restarted flights to Myanmar last year, for the first time in 12 years, as sanctions against the country were eased.
The airport at Myanmar's capital Naypidaw, the nation’s biggest with a capacity to handle five million passengers, is served by 18 international carriers.
The new airport in Yangon will be able to handle 12 million passengers a year when it opens for business in 2018. The city's existing airport is also aiming to more than double its capacity to 5.5 million by 2016.
ANA's acquisition will be its first of a new airline since the company raised 174 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in a share sale last year for acquisitions and aircraft purchases. All Nippon Airways, the main carrier of ANA Holdings, said earlier this year it was looking for acquisitions and partnerships in countries including India, Thailand and Myanmar after raising money in the share sale.
"It will help them tap growing travel demand in Southeast Asia," Ryota Himeno, an analyst at Barclays Securities Japan Ltd, said of the Asian Wings purchase. "It's a step in the right direction, but they need to make more investments to make the best use of their capital."
Last month, ANA announced it would buy pilot training company Pan Am Holdings Inc. for $139.5 million. The carrier also held preliminary discussions on buying a stake in Philippine Airlines Inc from San Miguel Corp, the owner of a 49% stake in the Manila-based carrier, it said in July.
ANA fell 0.5% to 208 yen at the close of trading in Tokyo on Tuesday. The stock has advanced 15% this year, compared with a 30% gain in Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
About the author
- Writer: Bloomberg News
Position: News agency