State takeover looms for troubled Malaysia Airlines

State takeover looms for troubled Malaysia Airlines

Malaysian state investment vehicle Khazanah Nasional has proposed a “complete overhaul” of troubled flag-carrier Malaysia Airlines.

The move follows two recent tragedies at the airline, with the disappearance of MH370 in March and crash of MH17 over Ukraine in July.

Khazanah confirmed it wanted to buy the shares it does not already own in Malaysia Airlines, delist the carrier, and carry out a comprehensive rebranding.

The investors, which currently owns 69.4 per cent of the airline, offered to pay 0.27 ringgit per share for the remaining stock.

This represents a 12.5 per cent premium to the closing price on Thursday, with shares now suspended.

A statement from Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said: “This is the first step needed to return our national carrier to profitability.

“It is a step I wholeheartedly support.”

Flight MH370 went missing on March 8th while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

A massive search and rescue operation, which is still continuing, has so far failed to locate the aircraft.

The carrier suffered another major setback in July after all 298 people on board flight MH17 died as the plane was brought down in eastern Ukraine, close to the border with Russia.

A decision on the future of the airline is expected toward the end of the month.