KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – AirAsia Bhd today announced it would divest its 25 per cent stake in AAE Travel Pte Ltd to Expedia Inc for RM306.187 million. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, AirAsia said it had executed a share purchase agreement (SPA) Expedia, Expedia Southeast Asia Pte Ltd, and its a wholly-owned subsidiary, AirAsia Exp Pte Ltd to facilitate the divestment.
Expedia and AirAsia each hold a 50 per cent stake in AAE Travel, a joint venture company, through Expedia Southeast Asia and AirAsia Exp, respectively. “The cost of investment by AirAsia in AAE Travel will result in a gain on disposal of RM279.598 million that would be realised in the first quarter 2015.
“The payment for the sale consideration would be made within eight business days after all its affiliated airlines have signed the amended and restated joint venture ticketing agreement and restated ticketing agreement,” it said. AirAsia said the rationale for the transaction was to monetise its investment in AAE Travel and to increase liquidity and access to capital. “The transaction would also result in increased earnings per share, net assets per share and lower gearing ratio,” it added.