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Mon, 16 November 2020

Korean Air to Buy Asiana Airlines

Hanjin KAL and Korean Air today confirmed that a decision has been made to acquire Asiana Airlines.

Korean Air plans to acquire Asiana Airlines at KRW 1.8 trillion. In order to secure this amount, Korean Air plans to increase KRW 2.5 trillion worth of capital by issuing new shares early next year.

According to the agreement with Korea Development Bank, Hanjin KAL will receive a KRW 800-billion investment from Korea Development Bank -- KRW 500 billion by issuing new shares to the bank through a third-party allotment and KRW 300 billion through the issuing of exchangeable bonds. Hanjin KAL will lend this KRW 800 billion to Korean Air immediately after receiving it from the bank in order to support both airlines before Korean Airs capital increase.

Of the KRW 800 billion from Hanjin KAL, Korean Air will invest KRW 300 billion to acquire perpetual convertible bonds from Asiana Airlines and use an additional KRW 300 billion as a down payment for the KRW 1.5-trillion contract to acquire Asiana Airlines new shares.

Asiana Airlines Airbus A350 reg: HL-8078. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Korean Airs initial investment will enable Asiana Airlines to secure the funding needed for operations until the end of the year, as well as improve its financial position by adding KRW 300 billion worth of perpetual convertible bonds to its capital assets.

The reason for Korea Development Banks investment in Korean Air through Hanjin KAL is to ensure Hanjin KAL maintains its status as the airlines holding company.

Hanjin KAL decided to receive Korea Development Banks investment by issuing new shares, rather than borrowing the entire KRW 800 billion from the bank, to maintain a stable financial structure. It also chose the third-party allotment method to secure the capital quickly and safely.

Given the crisis the airline industry is currently facing, it is unavoidable to restructure the entire market, including Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, the low cost carriers such as Jin Air, and relevant industries. Korea Development Banks shares will be ordinary shares with a voting right, and Korea Development Bank will monitor and make sure Hanjin KAL and Korean Air follow through with acquisition plans.

In general, countries with a population less than 100 million have a single full service carrier. However, Korea has two full service carriers, which gives it a competitive disadvantage compared to countries like Germany, France and Singapore with a single major airline. However, Korean Airs acquisition and the expansion of its routes, fleet and capacity will give the airline the competitiveness to compete with global mega airlines.

The merger of the two airlines is expected to further enhance the competitiveness of the Korean aviation industry with more streamlined route operations and lower costs. More slots secured at Incheon International Airport, a transport hub in Asia, through the consolidation of the airlines, may lead to an increase in joint ventures with global airlines and greater transfer demand, which will also spur the growth of the domestic aviation industry.

Once Korean Air completes its acquisition of Asiana Airlines, the airline is expected to be ranked as one of the top 10 airlines in the world.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Korean Air, Asiana, Korea./p>

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