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Air Astana Plans IPO, Aims to Raise $120 Million


Central Asia’s Largest Airline Seeks Listing on London and Kazakhstan stock exchanges

Air Astana, Central Asia’s largest airline by market share, has announced its plans to raise $120 million through an initial public offering (IPO) on the London and Kazakhstan stock exchanges. The IPO will also involve the sale of shares held by BAE Systems (Kazakhstan) and sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (SK), with each global depositary receipt (GDR) representing four shares.

Currently, SK holds a 51% stake in Air Astana, while BAE holds the remaining 49%. The airline’s strong performance and well-managed business have prompted BAE Systems to support the group’s IPO plans.

The bookbuilding process, including the announcement of a price range, is expected to commence at the end of January. Air Astana aims to leverage the IPO to accelerate its growth strategy by expanding into new geographic areas and strengthening its existing routes. The funds raised from the new share issuance are intended to support this expansion plan.

Air Astana President and CEO Peter Foster expressed confidence in the IPO’s potential to drive the airline’s next phase of growth. The company currently operates a fleet of 49 aircraft and has served approximately 6.0 million passengers on 41,000 flights during the nine months ended September 30.

If the offering proceeds, it will involve both domestic and global offers of GDRs. BAE intends to grant an overallotment option for up to 15% of the global offer GDRs.

For the nine months ending on September 30, Air Astana reported total revenue of $900.6 million, reflecting an increase from $747.2 million in the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, pretax profit grew from $78.0 million to $90.0 million.

Shares in BAE were up 1.4% at 1,180.0 pence as of 1018 GMT.

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