While Europe’s second-tier airlines collapse or wrestle with stretched finances, Wow Air plans to sell shares to the public.

The Iceland-based low-cost carrier hired Arion Bank and Arctica Finance to prepare for an initial public offering in 12 to 18 months, it said late on Tuesday, when it also published details about a bond issue. The 60 million euros ($70 million) bond, maturing in three years, will pay a 9 percent coupon.

That’s the highest interest of any bond by a European airline denominated in euros or U.S. dollars that’s still actively trading, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Wow Air needs funds to pursue an aggressive growth plan – a strategy that has caused the demise of other airlines on the continent.

While Norwegian Air Shuttle has fended off takeover approaches by IAG SA and is trying to fix its balance sheet, Italy’s former flag carrier Alitalia remains insolvent.

Germany’s Small Planet Airlines filed for insolvency on Tuesday, while Air Berlin, the country’s second-largest airline, and Monarch Airlines in the U.K. folded last year.

Rising oil prices are another factor weighing on airline profitability.
Bloomberg chart budget airlines

Wow Air isn’t hedged against the risk but may reconsider that stance, Chief Executive Officer Skuli Mogensen told the Financial Times. The carrier hopes to raise between $200 million and $300 million from the sale of less than half in the company, he said.

For more, see Skift’s CEO interview this week: “Onetime Disruptor Wow Air Is Ready for a Reinvention.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.


This article was written by Luca Casiraghi and Richard Weiss from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Photo Credit: Shown here is CEO Skuli Mogensen of Wow Air, an Iceland-based low-cost carrier. The company has hired Arion Bank and Arctica Finance to prepare for an initial public offering in 12 to 18 months. Wow Air