Plenty. It surprises me as people were talking about the founders having financial trouble so much so that it affects Airasia. Now they are pumping in RM1 billion - just to prove their commitment towards its cause. I have mentioned many times, Airasia is a growing company. Many puts it as being in a mature market. NOT RIGHT.
It needs more money. And it is not that the company is in financial difficulties. One can read many articles to proof that but do not read into rumors. The company is generating positive operating cashflow by quite a number, especially now. However, it may not be able to generate free cashflow due to the investments it needs to make.
The problem for Airasia is Asia. Asia is a fast growing market for low costs, so much so that the owner for Vietjet can be one of the richest in Vietnam. Airasia does not produce cashflow fast enough for it to not further raise funds.
I have written several articles on Wellington and EPF sales. They were selling between its price of around RM1.30 to RM1.60. If one is to just follow the funds actions, we would be following the sale ourselves. Now, the question is with EPF selling most of their stocks at around RM1.50 and now both the founders buying at RM1.80, who would you trust most? The quantum itself is huge. It is not that both Tony and Kamaruddin are buying 2% of Airasia. It is 16.7%.
Now, the only thing I have qualms about is that the founders are buying cheap - not too cheap but we expect them to buy cheap - although this can be a contentious debate. Remember, the founders are not expected to buy at above market value. The fact that they decide to buy at RM1.84, in my mind, means that the founders must have thought, it could go much higher. Things are going well for airlines. Oil price are low and seems to be continuously low, Ringgit seems to be improving which is good time for Airasia to buy more planes, MAS is pulling back allowing Airasia to take up position as the largest Malaysian airline and one of Airasia's biggest market - China, with its people having huge appetite to travel.
Why then if the private placement is good, Airasia does not do rights? I guess again people. If Airasia does rights, shareholders may complain that it is so much in trouble that it is asking for more money from shareholders. If it does private placement at market price (no discount), then TF and Kamaruddin are putting the money where their mouths are. For those who wants to participate, buy tomorrow - one may still be able to catch the stock at RM1.84 perhaps. For those who still fear and prefer a less turbulent stock, sell from the opening - tomorrow.
The other thing I like about this deal is that they do not do a private placement at discount to market price and to third parties whom we do not know about (sometimes to friendly parties or can be proxies). The placement price is close to its closing price before suspension and openly to the founders. This is transparency and allows me to appreciate at how Airasia treats its minority shareholders. They are doing the right thing.
With that, I just hope that the lost of confidence over Airasia will stop and it is time for a Malaysian company to grow aggressively regional and be the finest low costs airline in Asia.