Khazanah Nasional Bhd., the biggest shareholder of Malaysian Airline System Bhd., named Mueller to head a new company being carved out of the publicly traded carrier, the state sovereign wealth fund said in an e-mailed statement today. The new company, to be called Malaysia Airlines Bhd., will become operational July, it said in the statement.
Malaysia’s government is taking the airline private by buying out small shareholders for 1.38 billion ringgit ($398 million) after the two crashes marred the already unprofitable carrier’s reputation and hurt passenger numbers. MH370 vanished from radar screens on March 8 without any warning, while MH17 was shot down in Ukraine in July.
The two accidents killed a combined 537 people. No debris of MH370 has been found in what’s the world’s longest search for a missing passenger jet in modern aviation history.
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