MANILA – AirAsia Inc on Monday said F&S Holdings Inc, owned by 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero, is now the biggest shareholder of the budget airline's Philippine arm after acquiring an additional 28.8 percent stake, which raised the holding firm's ownership to 44.5 percent.
Prior to the acquisition, Romero’s group owned 15.7 percent shares. Thirteen percent and 15.8 percent of shares were acquired from Ambassador Fred Yao and Maan Hontiveros, Romero’s wife Sheila Romero said in a press conference.
“Rep. Romero said Air Asia Inc will continue to scale new heights for the multi-awarded Philippines AirAsia,” the carrier said in a statement.
Businessman Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco's TNR Holdings has 15.7 percent shares, while the remaining 40 percent remain with AirAsia Berhad founders Tony Fernandes and his partner Kamarudin Menardum.
Romero said he is bullish about AirAsia's prospects this year as airlines have been booking 90 percent of seats recently.
He said AirAsia is recapitalizing and restructuring its equities and is aiming to have an initial public offering of around $200 million worth of shares later this year.
The company is also aiming to add 50 planes within the next 10 years and add more routes as it competes in the budget air travel market.
"In fact we want to lower the prices and add more routes and flights," Romero said in an interview with ANC's Business Nightly.