Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

On the frontline of horror: editing images from warzones

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: UN sets target of 60 days to turn things around

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Desperate Seas: Migrant Deaths Crossing Mediterranean Top 3,000 in 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

'All is Well' for Lisa Simone

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

EU questions Apple's tax deals in Ireland

Read more

FOCUS

The Iraqi TV show where victims confront terrorists

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Syrian student risks her life to film IS group stronghold

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Forgotten and fictional sports

Read more

DEBATE

Modi in America: India's Prime minister on triumphant US tour

Read more

Asia's richest man targets aviation and Irish firm AWAS

AFP

Cheung Kong Holdings says it is seeking to buy into Irish aircraft leasing group AWASCheung Kong Holdings says it is seeking to buy into Irish aircraft leasing group AWAS

Cheung Kong Holdings says it is seeking to buy into Irish aircraft leasing group AWASCheung Kong Holdings says it is seeking to buy into Irish aircraft leasing group AWAS

A property flagship led by Asia's richest tycoon Li Ka-shing is seeking to buy into Irish aircraft leasing group AWAS -- the Hong Kong businessman's first major foray into the aviation industry.

Cheung Kong Holdings said Monday in a filing to Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company "has submitted a preliminary non-binding proposal in respect of the possible acquisition of certain aircrafts from the AWAS group".

The potential deal is at an early stage, but media reports in Ireland -- where AWAS's has its Dublin head office -- estimate it could be as much as $5 billion for around 100 aircraft.

Li commands a vast empire through Cheung Kong Holdings and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, with global assets in property, telecoms, utilities, ports and retail.

He warned last week of a climate of political and economic uncertainty likely to last the rest of the year, and said there was a need for "long-term" strategies to increase shareholders' returns.

In July, Cheung Kong reported a profit for the first six months this year grew by 59 percent to HK$21.35 billion ($2.75 billion).

Dow Jones Newswire quoted analyst Jonas Kan of Daiwa Securities that Li has been looking for investments that can yield good and steady returns.

Kan said: "Cheung Kong's plan to diversify into the aviation-related investments could be a way to enhance return of its cash surplus."

AWAS, owned by private equity group Terra Firma, has a portfolio of more than 300 aircraft leased to more than 100 airlines around the world, including Thai Airways, Qantas and China's budget carrier Spring Airlines, according to its website.

The talks comes amid fierce competition in the industry with a proliferation of budget carriers in the Asia Pacific region.

China last year relaxed rules on setting up commercially run airlines, helping spur demand for new aircraft.

In 2003, Li's eldest son Victor Li failed in his bid to buy a stake in Air Canada due to disagreement with the carrier's labour unions.

-- Dow Jones Newswire contributed to the report --

Date created : 2014-08-04