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Singapore Airlines Ltd. said it held discussions regarding an investment in South Korean carrier Jeju Air Inc., as the city-state’s flag carrier expands overseas amid competition with budget airlines at home.
“These discussions may not result in a transaction,” the company said in a statement to the stock exchange Tuesday. “Singapore Airlines will make further public announcements as necessary.”
Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong has ordered $17 billion of aircraft and has expanded the carrier to Australia and India through ventures in response to competition from budget airlines that are growing their market share in Southeast Asia. Earlier this year Singapore Air partnered with India’s Tata Group to start Vistara. In 2012, the carrier bought a 10 percent stake in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. and has since increased it to about 22.8 percent.
Jeju Air has started the process of an initial public offering and has selected its lead underwriter, Chief Executive Officer Ken Choi said in an interview in November. The company was looking for a partner to help grow the business, he said then.
The Maeil newspaper reported earlier today that Singapore Air is in talks with Aekyung Group to buy about a 20 percent stake in Jeju Air by purchasing new shares. The daily cited investment banking officials it didn’t identify. The companies have been in talks since end-2014, the daily said. Aekyung Group owned 86.23 percent of Maeil, the report said.
This article was written by Kyunghee Park from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.