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Friday, March 24, 2023

FLC to sell stake in Bamboo Airways

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnamese conglomerate FLC Group plans to sell its stake in local carrier Bamboo Airways as part of its business restructuring plan, said FLC board chairman Le Ba Nguyen at an extraordinary general meeting last weekend.

This year, FLC is set to reshape its business strategy, focusing on the real estate, hotel and resort sectors, and merging and acquiring projects to restructure debt and maintain its business operations, Nguyen was quoted by the local media.

While Trinh Van Quyet, who was prosecuted and detained for his alleged involvement in stock market manipulation, was at the helm of FLC, the group was active in various sectors, including real estate, tourism, resort and golf services, transportation, and financial investment.

In the upcoming time, FLC will review all its investments in its subsidiaries and affiliated companies to map out plans for further investments or stake transfers.

The group is considering a plan to transfer its stake in Bamboo Airways, but more details will be announced to shareholders after it works out a specific transfer plan and gets it reviewed by financial experts, Nguyen added.

The FLC chairman said that FLC invested more than VND4 trillion in Bamboo Airways, equivalent to a 21.7% stake in the airline. In FLC’s most recent financial statement issued in October last year, Bamboo Airways remained an FLC affiliate.

As the carrier had yet to generate profit, FLC in 2021 had to side pocket an investment worth over VND373 billion and hiked its side pocket account to over VND3.6 trillion last year, Nguyen was quoted by local news site VnExpress as saying.

Bamboo Airways launched its maiden flight in early 2019. The carrier has a 30-aircraft fleet and offers various services on domestic and international routes, including those linking Vietnam with Australia, Europe and Southeast Asia.

After Quyet was arrested around a year ago, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam released information about FLC’s ownership status in Bamboo Airways.

According to the national aviation authority, by early April last year, FLC had contributed over VND3.58 trillion to the carrier, or a 51.24% stake, with former chairman Quyet owning a 30.3% stake in FLC Group or some VND1 trillion. Quyet alone invested over VND2.8 trillion in the airline or a 40.03% stake. More than VND610 billion in the carrier, or an 8.73% stake, was held by other shareholders.

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