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ANA to take up to 19.9% stake in bankrupt budget carrier Skymark

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 16:06
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ANA Holdings Inc said it has agreed to acquire a stake of up to 19.9 per cent in bankrupt budget carrier Skymark Airlines Inc, gaining access to highly coveted landing slots and strengthening its lead over rival Japan Airlines Co.

[TOKYO] ANA Holdings Inc said it has agreed to acquire a stake of up to 19.9 per cent in bankrupt budget carrier Skymark Airlines Inc, gaining access to highly coveted landing slots and strengthening its lead over rival Japan Airlines Co.

Under the deal, Japanese private equity firm Integral Corp, which has provided funds to keep Skymark in business since its bankruptcy in January, will hold just over 50 per cent.

An ambitious expansion programme, including plans to fly Airbus A380 superjumbos on overseas routes, stretched Skymark's finances, leaving it vulnerable to competition. Unable to keep up with payments for the A380s, Skymark opted for bankruptcy after Airbus scrapped the sale and demanded a cancellation fee.

ANA's stake has been kept at less than 20 per cent so that it will not be forced by Japanese regulators to surrender some of its landing rights at Tokyo's Haneda airport, sources have said.

REUTERS