Skift Take

Tony Fernandes thinks it's time for Capital A's "Hollywood" debut.

AirAsia parent company Capital A announced on Wednesday that it will be listing in the U.S. public markets.

Capital A has finalized an agreement with Aetherium Acquisition Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), to list Capital A International on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The agreement values Capital A International at $1.15 billion. The business will also look at acquisitions and licensing its 14 other brands. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals.

Acquiring and Developing More Brands

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, said the company’s growth strategy also involves acquiring and developing more brands from the region. “We are optimistic about the potential for our brand business to expand well beyond our origins.”

Fernandes told Bloomberg he expects Capital A International to start trading by June or July.

Capital A plans to extend the AirAsia brand beyond the travel sector by expanding into new industries, categories and geographies through in-house ventures or joint ventures, a statement from the company stated.

Capital A’s Public Listing Plans

Already a public listed company on Bursa Malaysia, Fernandes had earlier said Capital A may seek two stock exchange listings in the U.S. — one for the airline and the other for the digital superapp.

However Wednesday’s release doesn’t mention that.

“If you want to be an actor, you’re probably going to want to end up in Hollywood at some stage in your career,” Fernandes was quoted telling the Financial Times when news about the U.S. listing came out in 2022.

However, the company had to undergo a debt restructuring scheme to avoid filing for bankruptcy in 2021. Wednesday’s news of the U.S. public listing is proof that things have started looking up for the company.

“The Southeast Asian region offers a thriving economic landscape with a 680 million population, surpassing the U.S. and closely trailing the European Union. Fueled by a growing middle-income population that is creating new consumer markets and economic opportunities, the region is poised for sustained growth. Moreover, the recent surge in popularity of Asia-based media, entertainment, and lifestyle brands underscores the escalating global demand for brands originating in Asia,” said Fernandes.


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Tags: air asia, asia monthly, IPOs, spac, tony fernandes

Photo credit: Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes. AirAsia / AirAsia

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