Is Malaysia Airports for sale?

Now that Fernandes got 20.5% of Malaysia Airlines for almost a song and soon to call the shots, one wonders what his next prey would be?

Would he want to control Malaysia Airports?

That proposition would not be too far fetched. In a matter of fact, it would be very much up his avenue. After having a very successful low cost carrier and two days ago inked a ‘share swap’ deal which got him the controls of a much needed Tier-5 airline, controlling airports would synergise the whole Tune Group business-turned-empire. Especially he already tried to use Sime Darby and build a dedicated low cost carrier airport somewhere near Labu.

That failed.

And he did not stop there. He was said to try his luck using Perak Menteri Besar Dato Seri Dr Zambry A Kadir. Parit Buntar is the most commercially viable spot for the dedicated LCCT airport for the North.

Malaysia Airports is a very good corporation to go after. They manage 39 airports in the country and four others abroad. The annual turnover is RM 1.1 billion where profits are recorded at RM 266 million. The most prized asset of Malaysia Airports is the new KLIA II LCCT, which would be completed end of next year. Currently, KLIA (with present LCCT) is handling 34 million passengers with 244,000 aircraft movements annually. In five years time, it would be raised to 50% more, where KLIA II would be expecting 30 million travelers through the dedicated LCCT terminal complex. Thus, it would be best to go for the kill in the soonest opportunity arises.

For the record, AirAsia have been owing Malaysia Airports a lot of dues. In 2008, then Minister of Transport reported to Parliament AirAsia owed RM 110 million. As of earlier this year, AirAsia is still owing RM 103 million. That is almost 10% of Malaysia Airports’ annual turnover.

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid

Of course, Managing Director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid would be needed to be rid off first. Just like Tengku Azmil. He was shown the door the hour they inked the ‘share swap’ deal. Bashir would be in the way of Fernandes, who would want to call the shots.

Now, wouldnt all these be realistic? Probably. Let’s see what will transpire soon. Or maybe sooner than some would never imagine. We are willing to bet that your guess is as good as ours; CIMB would probably be the deal-maker again for this.

*Updated Friday 12 Aug 2011 0030hrs

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 23:05  Comments (41)