Japan Airlines denies report it bid for Malaysia Airlines stake

  • Aviation
  • Monday, 28 Oct 2019

The logo of Malaysian Airlines Bhd. (MAS) stands on the tail-fin of a passenger aircraft as it stands on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia, on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he's studying options for flag carrier Malaysia Airlines including whether to invest more funds, sell it off or even shut the company down. Photographer: Samsul Said/Bloomberg

TOKYO: Japan Airlines Co. said it’s not planning to take a stake in Malaysia Airlines Bhd., pushing back against a report that it put in a bid for a strategic holding in the carrier.

The Japanese company is waiting for approval to begin a tie-up with Malaysia Airlines rather than taking a stake in the carrier, a Japan Airlines spokesman said.

A report in the Edge weekly newspaper on Saturday said Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd., the sole shareholder of the flag carrier, had shortlisted four potential investors, including three airlines.

Japan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines announced on May 27 that they plan to pursue a joint business on flights between Malaysia and Japan. Anticipation of deeper cooperation has been fueled by reports that the Japanese carrier was a contender to buy a stake.

Malaysia will decide on the flag carrier’s strategic partner or investor by year-end or early 2020 at the latest, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said in parliament last week.

Khazanah Nasional has hired Morgan Stanley to look at strategic options for Malaysia Airlines. - Bloomberg

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