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Minority shareholders back US$421m buyout of Malaysia Airlines

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Minority shareholders in Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) have backed a US$421 million bid by its majority owner, state fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd's, to take the struggling carrier private, according to investors attending an extraordinary shareholder meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Minority shareholders in Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) have backed a US$421 million bid by its majority owner, state fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd's, to take the struggling carrier private, according to investors attending an extraordinary shareholder meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The approval moves Khazanah a step closer to implementing plans to return the carrier, hit by the loss of two jets in separate incidents this year, to profitability.

Minority shareholders in MAS attended the meeting to vote on Khazanah's bid to buy the 30.6 per cent stake it does not already own in the company at 27 sen per share. The offer was made after the already loss-making airline was struck by disasters earlier this year.

The unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 in March led MAS into its worst quarterly performance in two years in January-March. Its problems deepened on July 17 when its Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

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