Nok Air plans to issue an initial public offering (IPO) this August.
One of the latest Boeing 737-800s, named Nok Flamingo, which recently joined Nok Air’s growing fleet.
The budget airline and its financial adviser, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), is preparing a listing application for submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March.
Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin said it is all a part of the eight-year-old carrier's strategic plan to raise billions of baht in fresh capital to support growth.
Details of the planned IPO have yet to be finalised, though Mr Patee said as much as a 30% stake in the company would be offered with existing shareholders' holdings reduced pro rata.
Nok Air's IPO plan is being firmed up as the airline posted an unaudited net profit of 480-500 million baht, a major turnaround from 2011 when its operation was hit by the great flood in October and November.
Nok Air also plans to resume international services this year after they nearly pushed the airline into bankruptcy five years ago. It suspended loss-making international flights to Vietnam and India as part of a turnaround programme, but now wants to relaunch in two countries _ Myanmar and China.
"We still need to decide which cities in those two countries, but there will be only one city in each country," said Mr Patee, adding "we are not rushing."
Nok Air is one of two Thai airlines on course for an IPO on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) this year.
Bangkok Airways, the privately owned airline which turns 45 this year, is looking into an IPO launch in either April or May this year.
The size of the offering, the share price and the scope of the allotment to various subscribers have still being worked out by its financial adviser, Bualuang Securities Plc.
But the airline executives indicated three possible sets of offerings: 20%, 25% and 30%.
Some 1 to 2 billion baht of the proceeds will be used to build a hangar at Suvarnabhumi from scratch, buy a number of new aircraft, lease other aircraft and improve its information technology system, Bangkok Airways president Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth said earlier.
Both Nok Air and Bangkok Airways are following on the heels of Thai AirAsia, Thailand's largest low-cost carrier, whose holding firm, Asia Aviation Plc (AAV), made its trading debut on the SET in May last year.
AAV issued 1.21 billion shares at 3.70 baht each, raising 4.48 billion baht to expand its fleet and boost capital.
Over the next five years, Nok Air plans to operate a fleet of 40 aircraft, up from the current 11, raising its passenger volume to more than 14 million in 2017 from an estimated 6 million last year.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business