Vietnam Airlines Corp. will sell an 8.8 percent stake to ANA Holdings Inc., owner of Japan's biggest airline, Bloomberg reported, quoting Pham Ngoc Minh, the Vietnamese carrier's CEO as saying.
The operator of All Nippon Airways will pay US$109 million for its stake, with the deal set to close sometime between March and June, Minh said in a telephone interview last week. The two
airlines will discuss more stake sales later, he said.
ANA has been scouting for acquisitions in Southeast Asia since 2013 after raising US$1.8 billion in a share sale. A plan to buy a stake in Myanmar's Asian Wings Airways Ltd. was canceled in 2014.
Supporting expansion plans
"We chose ANA since they're a large, prestigious airline with a large market that does not compete with ours," Minh said. "ANA's experience and strengths will help Vietnam Airlines expand."
ANA spokesman Ryosei Nomura confirmed the company had been negotiating with Vietnam Air but declined to provide more details. The Nikkei reported the deal earlier last week.
Vietnam Air is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which also includes Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. ANA is a member of the Star alliance, which includes Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Ethiopian Airlines and United Air Lines.
The deal, which will see one ANA executive on Vietnam Airlines' board, also raises the possibility that the Vietnamese carrier's existing code-share deal with ANA rival Japan Airlines may be terminated.
Nol van Fenema