JD, Khazanah war of words heats up over Malaysia Airlines purchase

  • Airlines,Stocks,Earnings,Corporate News,Investing
  • Friday, 19 Dec 2014

PETALING JAYA: The war of words between Jentayu Danaraksa Sdn Bhd (JD) and Khazanah Nasional Bhd has escalated.

JD has reacted to a sources story reported by a wire agency by saying that sources close to Khazanah claimed that the investment agency was dismayed with JD’s “unprofessionalism” in presenting its proposed complementary plan to rescue ailing Malaysia Airlines (MAS), describing it as “a very unusual way of conducting business in corporate Malaysia”.

The report, quoting sources familiar with Khazanah’s way of doing business, said it was for this and other reasons that it had decided to postpone a meeting scheduled on Tuesday between the two parties to discuss the plan to a later date.

“Khazanah is dealing with many other proposals in private and in a proper way. So, anyone who wants to deal with Khazanah should work in a private and confidential manner. If not, meetings will get postponed until they learn basic professionalism,’’ the report said.

JD was supposed to have met Khazanah on Tuesday to present its new plan, but had released details of the plan to the media a day earlier.

This irked Khazanah, as it wanted to be the first to view the plan. This is the reason why it called off the meeting just hours before its scheduled time.

JD’s new plan encompasses about an RM8.75bil purchase of Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB), creating a new airline to offer premium economy services in Asean, and absorbing the 6,000 people who will be out of jobs since MAS is implementing Khazanah’s 12-point plan that wants to resize the airline.

After the wire report appeared yesterday, JD issued its own statement, saying that “JD’s intention has never been to undermine Khazanah’s restructuring process, rather to augment the 12-point plan.

“Our action thus far indicates we have no hidden agenda. We have been transparent and sincere from the onset in our efforts to assist Khazanah and resolve MAS’ problems”.

It said its goal was to help prevent job losses at MAS, and that while there was a need to rightsize MAS, it was of the view that MAS employees should not take the blame for the company’s massive financial problems.

“Hence, we will strive to salvage as many jobs as possible from the 6,000 earmarked for dismissal,’’ JD said.

It added that it wants to help rehabilitate MAS via the use of an existing vehicle, ie, PMB, and make Malaysia one of the major beneficiaries of the Asean Open Skies regime.

JD said its board expresses its profound regret over the events that have transpired since the company met the Press on Monday.

It added that it sincerely hoped to get an opportunity to share, elaborate and explain in greater detail its proposal to Khazanah and apologise if it had caused any inconvenience.

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