by TMR / pic by BERNAMA
THE merger and acquisition (M&A) expert Dr Stanley Choi (picture) is now AirAsia Group Bhd’s substantial shareholder via his wholly owned entity, Positive Boom Ltd, effective Feb 18, 2021.
Choi acquired 167.1 million AirAsia shares in the first tranche of the private placement, raising his shareholding in the group to 332.5 million shares, equating to an 8.96% stake.
According to the group, Choi is the chairman of Head and Shoulders Financial Group, and the chairman and ED of International Entertainment Corp, a company listed on the main board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange (1009.HK).
He is also the only co-founding member from Hong Kong for Yunfeng Capital — a private equity fund started in 2010 by a group of successful entrepreneurs and influential industry leaders, named after its co-founder Jack Ma Yun, founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and David Yu Feng, founder of Target Media Inc.
Choi possesses more than 20 years of experience in financial services and M&A transactions, with a particular focus on private equity investment. He was a seed investor of Kidswant, a Chinese start-up that has now become a leading maternity, baby and children’s product retailer in China with a valuation of over US$3 billion (RM12.12 billion).
AirAsia executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said Choi as a strategic shareholder brings an impressive track record and a solid reputation as a business powerhouse to the group.
“We are confident that he will add value to our digital business development in China through his vast experience and network with top digital players in the country.
“As chairman of one of the leading broking houses in Hong Kong, Choi has a proven track record in the investment business, and as a member of the Yunfeng Capital, he brings with him great access to key businesses in mainland China and opening opportunities for further synergistic collaborations with Asean,” he added.
Meanwhile, Choi said he is optimistic of AirAsia’s future, saying that the worst is over for the aviation industry.
“It is my great pleasure and honour to gain a substantial ownership stake in AirAsia — the world’s best low-cost airline and one of Asia’s biggest known brands, which have successfully pivoted into digital business as well.
I believe the worst period in the aviation industry’s history has now passed. I am confident that air travel will bounce back and that under Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin’s leadership, and with vaccines being rolled out across the region and globally, AirAsia has a very bright future ahead,” he said.