SHAH ALAM: The top brass from Jentayu Danaraksa Sdn Bhd will present its latest proposal to Khazanah Nasional Bhd today to buy Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) and turn it into a global aircraft leasing firm in a deal worth up to RM8.75bil.
Jentayu also has plans to set up a new airline, Fly JD, that would offer premium economy services in Asean. Both the leasing and airline businesses may be able to absorb the more than 6,000 employees that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will axe as part of Khazanahâ€™s resuscitation plan for the national carrier.
Jentayu claimed it had the financial backing from local and foreign financial institutions to undertake its plan, and had lined up international lessors to partner it to operate an international aircraft leasing company which would rename PMB to JD Leasing.
â€œA substantial number of the 6,000 jobs slated for removal by Khazanah will be absorbed by Fly JD and JD Leasing,â€™â€™ Jentayu managing director Feriz Omar told a press conference here yesterday.
Jentayu was set up less than six months ago and is led by former MAS managing director Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman and a group of bumiputras who claim to have a lot of experience and expertise in the aviation industry. Apart from Feriz and Aziz, the other directors of Jentayu are Shukor Yusof (formerly from Standardâ€™s & Poor), Datuk Seri Zakaria Bahari (group chief executive of Radimax Group Sdn Bhd, formerly known as Realmild (M) Sdn Bhd), Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Zin (former director of Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd) and Daruis Zainuddin (director of AIA and American Insurance Group and Sure Reach Sdn Bhd).
They first came up with a proposal to buy over some of MAS assets, namely Firefly, MAS engineering, repair and overhaul (MRO), and the aircraft leasing business held by PMB. These proposals were also presented to the Prime Minster and Khazanah.
Feriz said Jentayu has since met Khazanah twice, including a meeting with Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.
Hence, the new plan is to be presented to Khazanah.
Whether Khazanah will agree to its plan remains to be seen, but Jentayu directors told reporters that their plan should be seriously considered as it complemented Khazanahâ€™s move to revive MAS and gave Malaysia a chance to get into the aircraft leasing business on a global scale.
â€œIt is totally dependent on Khazanah, (but we feel) it is a proposal that cannot be refused by Khazanah or any other agency…. all this is about salvaging jobs at MAS,â€™â€™ Feriz said.He said Khazanah would also be offered strategic shares in JD Leasing at no cost.
The final price, he added, would be dependent on the number of aircraft it took, the valuations and leasing rates, and that the funding would be in the form of equity and debt instruments.
Under the new proposal, it plans to pay up to RM5.25bil to buy over MAS aircraft via a sale and leaseback arrangement and also undertake to refinance the RM3.5bil bond issue by PMB which is due in 2016.
PMB was set up as part of the widespread asset unbundling exercise in 2002, a year after the Government bought back the airline from tycoon Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli. But PMB transferred all its MAS shares to Khazanah before the share swap with AirAsia Bhd two years ago. MAS had been in the red for some years now and suffered two unprecedented air disasters this year.-TheÂ Star