29/02/2024 09:16 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- Capital A Bhd has finalised an agreement with Aetherium Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), to list Capital A International (CAPI) in the United States (US) public markets.

In a statement today, the company said under the terms of the proposed transaction, CAPI will combine with Aetherium and become a publicly traded entity. The transaction will reflect an estimated pro forma enterprise value of US$1.15 billion for CAPI.

“Although CAPI and Aetherium boards have unanimously approved the transaction, it is subject to Aetherium stockholders’ approval and other customary conditions,” it noted.

Capital A said chief executive officer (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, best known for acquiring AirAsia in 2001 and transforming it into a global airline, will lead CAPI, the statement said.

“He has led the airline's remarkable growth from just two planes to its current fleet of 242 aircraft, making it Asia's largest low-cost carrier and among the top three strongest airline brands in the world.

“Operating across Asean with hubs in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and soon Cambodia, AirAsia flies 278 routes to 131 global destinations, having flown over 776 million passengers since its inception,” the statement said.

AirAsia has transformed from a small Malaysian airline into a leading global aviation and travel brand valued at over US$1 billion, said Fernandes, enabling Capital A to build a diversified portfolio spanning aviation, aviation services, logistics, and digital companies in fintech, travel and hospitality.

“The evolution of the AirAsia brand has created a loyal global consumer base, positioning us favourably to expand our brand internationally through CAPI. This listing grants us access to the world's most extensive and liquid capital markets, enhancing the company's international credibility and presence while creating value for our shareholders," he said.

In addition to the AirAsia brand, he said CAPI holds the intellectual property rights for 14 renowned brands and over 224 trademarks spanning 23 countries.

The company intends to leverage AirAsia’s brand value via further licensing while propelling and expediting the growth of its intellectual property portfolio, he said.

 "We are the first Asean-based brand in the travel sector to adopt this strategy and expand through licensing, leveraging our strong ties. Asean offers a thriving economic landscape with a 680 million population, surpassing the US 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,” he said.

Aetherium chairman and CEO Jonathan Chan said AirAsia has evolved into an immensely successful and widely recognised regional brand and is strategically positioned to strengthen its leadership in Asean and pursue growth in international markets.

“This collaboration presents an opportunity for US capital market investors to participate in the rapid expansion of Asean economies through a company that embodies the region's diverse culture, energy, and emerging opportunities,” he added.


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