Tigerair Taiwan (IT, Taipei Taoyuan) has asked the Taiwan Stock Exchange to list its shares on the main board and hopes to raise more capital before international travel resumes in 2022, the low-cost subsidiary of Taiwanese airline China Airlines (CI, Taipei Taoyuan) revealed.
According to a list of such claims on the exchange’s website, the carrier filed its claim on December 28, declaring its share capital at the time of the claim as TWD4 billion new dollars ($ 144.2 million).
Under exchange rules, the request states that “if the public has opinions or doubts about the initial listing application for Tiger Airways Co. Ltd., they can express them in writing by January 12”.
The airline is currently not meeting lead board requirements, which are more stringent than for the stock exchange’s emerging board, as it recorded a loss last year due to Covid-19. However, it is expected to be eligible under relaxed listing rules for companies affected by the pandemic, the exchange told the Taipei Times newspaper.
The revised rules mean that the review board judges a candidate on their financial results for each year, except those affected by the coronavirus.
Tigerair Taiwan had said in December 2019, just before the outbreak, that it would debut initially on the emerging board – a preparatory market not open to public subscription – with the intention of moving to the main board as part a formal initial public offering (IPO). towards the end of 2020.
The plan echoes a brief China Airlines released in July 2019 announcing that Tigerair Taiwan would file for an IPO the following year.
Tigerair Taiwan reported net profit of TWD 981 million ($ 35.35 million) in 2018 and TWD 808 million ($ 29.12 million) in 2019, before posting a net loss of 1.37 billion TWD ($ 49.37 million) for 2020.
“The candidate’s financial performance is just one of many factors to consider. We will focus on its potential for business growth. We will review the airline’s business plan to see how it has adapted to the pandemic, which is difficult to predict, ”stock exchange spokeswoman Rebecca Chen told the Taipei Times.
However, she clarified that among the companies that have applied under the relaxed rules so far, few have been approved.
Bernard Hsu, commercial director of Tigerair Taiwan, told the newspaper that the carrier expects its main markets, Japan and South Korea, to ease their travel restrictions after the Lunar New Year holiday (from January 29 to February 6 in Taiwan) as vaccination rates increase.
“Some countries have recently tightened their border controls due to the spread of the Omicron variant, but we think it was actually a good thing for the aviation industry as the tough measures will help contain the pandemic. The sooner countries contain the pandemic, the sooner they will reopen their borders, ”he said.
According to advanced ch-aviation fleets and ch-aviation capabilities modules, only one of the airline’s fleet of thirteen aircraft is currently active, an A320-200N, on a single route, Taipei Taoyuan to Macao Int’l (2x per week). Its fleet consists of eleven A320-200s and two A320neos. It took delivery of the two neos earlier this year and two more are expected to arrive in 2022 out of a total of fifteen on firm order.
If its listing application is approved, Tigerair Taiwan will issue new shares because China Airlines and its subsidiary Mandarin Airlines (AE, Taichung Ching Chuan Kang) hold a combined 81.3% stake in LCC, above the authorized limit of 70%, says Hsu. It has already issued 120 million new shares in September, raising TWD 3 billion ($ 108 million), most of it bought by China Airlines and Mandarin.