Vietnam Airlines (VNA) is close to finishing deals to sell stakes to strategic partners this month, laying the path for their signing in early 2016, said VNA General Director Pham Ngoc Minh at a Ministry of Transport meeting late on Wednesday.
VNA initiated a plan to find strategic partners in September 2014 before going public in November that year. However, potential partners did not send a letter of intent until this August, Mr. Minh tipped.
“We are still negotiating and aim to close provisions of the final deal by the end of this month, so that the draft contract can be forwarded to the Ministry of Transport and the Prime Minister for consideration and be signed in the first quarter of 2016,” Mr. Minh added, without specifying the partners.
VNA Chairman Pham Viet Thanh revealed at a meeting in September that the airline was in talks with a Japanese investor.
According to a source of BizLIVE, VNA is negotiating with All Nippon Airway, Japan’s second-largest airline, on strategic stake sale deal.
At the firm’s first general shareholders meeting in March, VNA officials said that the carrier will sell 282 million shares, or a 20% stake, to three strategic investors at most, either airlines or financial investors.
VNA expects to rake in at least 6.3 trillion dong ($280 million) from selling the shares and the proceeds will be used to upgrade its fleet.
Mr. Minh said at the meeting that the carrier's divested amount from 12 out of 15 companies totalled 734 billion dong ($32.6 million), recording a profit of 374 billion dong ($16.6 million). Shares in the three remaining companies will be unloaded this month.
VNA said earlier it earned a consolidated pretax profit of 1.3 trillion dong ($58.3 million) in the nine months through September, beating its target set for the period.