SAO PAULO, March 16 Azul Linhas Aéreas
Brasileiras SA wants to raise as much as $532 million in an
initial public offering in Brazil and the United States, the
fourth attempt by Brazil's No. 3 commercial airline to list in
public equity markets.
Documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Thursday showed Azul put out a suggested price
range for its Brazil-traded shares between 19 reais and 23
reais, and between $18.02 and $21.81 for its American depositary
The company wants to sell up to 72 million common shares,
with a ratio of three Brazilian shares per ADS, according to the
filing. The shares will be listed in the São Paulo Stock
Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, Azul said, without
giving a exact timetable for the transaction.
Under terms of the deal, Azul could sell additional and
supplementary allotments equivalent to 10.8 million shares in
the IPO. The placement of those shares depends on how market
conditions, such as investor demand, behave, the filing said.
After failed attempts to list in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Azul
raised fresh capital through private stake sales to United
Continental Holdings Inc., which snapped 5 percent of
the company for $100 million, and a 23.7 percent stake to
China's HNA Group Co Ltd for $450 million. Both transactions
happened in 2015.
The IPO, which sources have told Reuters could be priced
around the end of next quarter, underscores the growing allure
of Brazilian airlines among foreign investors as the government
eases foreign ownership of carriers and the economy begins to
show signs of emerging from a deep recession.
Bankers expects a wave of bond and stock deals from Brazil
to hit debt and equity markets from early April on and stretch
for several months should market conditions prove favorable and
the government manages to pass fiscal austerity
Some of those companies include the Brazilian unit of
Carrefour SA and N2com Internet SA, known by the shoe
retailing brand Netshoes - which also applied for a U.S. listing
earlier in the day.
Proceeds from the IPO should bolster Azul's balance sheet as
it gets new jets and adds foreign routes from Brazil, to take on
rivals Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA and Latam
Airlines Group's TAM brand.
JetBlue Airways Corp founder David Neeleman started
Azul in 2008, initially focusing on flights inside Brazil.
The investment banking units of Citigroup Inc,
Deutsche Bank AG and Itaú Unibanco Holding SA were
hired to lead the offering's underwriting.
($1 = 3.1161 reais)
(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Guillermo Parra-Bernal;
editing by Grant McCool)