February 25, 2019 / 3:56 AM / 9 months ago

Thai AirAsia owner in talks to buy stake in rival Nok Air

Nok Air aircraft, painted like a duck, prepares to take off at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, June 29, 2016. Picture taken June 29, 2016. PREUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s Asia Aviation Pcl, the owner of low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia, on Monday said it was considering to buy a stake in rival Nok Airlines Pcl, sending its share prices soaring.

“The company is currently considering weather such investment is appropriate,” Chief Financial Officer, Santhat Sanguandikul, said in a statement, referring to acquiring shares from the billionaire Jurangkool family, sending Nok Air’s share prices up 13 percent.

The company has a market capitalisation of 9.3 billion baht ($297.03 million) and the stock is currently trading at 3.06 baht, its highest since March 2018.

The Jurangkool family, which owns unlisted auto-parts company, Thai Summit and Thai Steel Cable Pcl, currently owns 53 percent in Nok Air.

The announcement comes as national carrier, Thai Airways Pcl waived its rights to subscribe new shares in Nok Air and dropped holdings to 15.9 percent from 21.8 percent.

Asia Aviation owns 55 percent in Thai AirAsia, with the remaining stake held by Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd’s.

($1 = 31.3100 baht)

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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