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

Thailand's Asia Aviation owns 55 per cent in Thai AirAsia, with the remaining stake held by Malaysia's AirAsia Group Bhd.
Thailand's Asia Aviation owns 55 per cent in Thai AirAsia, with the remaining stake held by Malaysia's AirAsia Group Bhd.PHOTO: ST FILE

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's Asia Aviation Pcl, the owner of low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia, on Monday (Feb 25) said it was considering to buy a stake in rival Nok Airlines, sending its share prices soaring.

"The company is currently considering whether 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 per cent.

The company has a market capitalisation of 9.3 billion baht (S$401 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 per cent 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 per cent from 21.8 per cent.

Asia Aviation owns 55 per cent in Thai AirAsia, with the remaining stake held by Malaysia's AirAsia Group Bhd.