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Azul CEO Says the Carrier Will Return to IPO Once Brazil’s Economy Picks Up

Sep 14, 2013 3:00 am

Skift Take

Brazil’s small troubles and regional challenges with overreaching governments in places like Argentina don’t create the best climate for a good IPO.

— Jason Clampet

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André Gustavo Stumpf  / Flickr

An Azul aircraft. André Gustavo Stumpf / Flickr

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA founder and Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman, who canceled the carrier’s initial public offering last month, said he’s confident in the Brazilian economy and intends to do an IPO.

“The timing wasn’t right,” Neeleman, who also created JetBlue Airways Corp., said in an interview today on CNBC [embedded below]. “It was more of a market conditions issue and I think market conditions in Brazil will rebound.”

Azul, the third-largest carrier in Brazil by market share, sought to raise as much as 1 billion reais ($440 million) through the IPO, a person familiar with the plan said in June. The company, based in Barueri, Brazil, scrapped the plan in August because of “unfavorable macroeconomic conditions.”

The real has fallen about 10 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, increasing the price of imports and jet fuel. No Brazilian company has completed a sale since July, when renewable energy producer CPFL Energias Renovaveis SA raised 900 million reais. Brazil’s biggest cement maker, Votorantim Cimentos SA, also suspended a $3.7 billion IPO in August.

Neeleman said he intends to go ahead with an IPO for Azul, which will trade on both the Bovespa index and as American depository receipts on the New York Stock Exchange.

“We’ll get it back on track,” Neeleman said.

With assistance from Madeleine Lim in New York. Editors: James Callan, John Lear. To contact the reporter on this story: Caroline Chen in New York at cchen509@bloomberg.net. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net. 

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