Sunday 19 November 2017

Ryan family keeps strategic investment in Tiger Airways

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

THE family of the late Tony Ryan is set to remain a strategic investor in Tiger Airways despite offloading half its stake in the Asian low-cost carrier earlier this week.

The Ryanair founder's family sold almost €32m worth of Tiger stock on Wednesday, making a profit of about €31m on its original investment in the shares.

The shares were sold as part of a block placement which also saw founding shareholder Indigo Partners and the airline's chief executive Tony Fernandes cash out.

The Irish Independent has learned, however, that the Ryans' 'Ryanasia' vehicle sold only half of its 58.5 million shares in the Singapore-based airline and sees the remaining stock as a "strategic investment".

Declan Ryan, son of Tony, is expected to retain his seat on Tiger's board and the board of Tiger's Thai spin-off Thai Tiger.

The timing of this week's deal is understood to reflect recent strength in Tiger's share price.

When the airline floated in January, its shares were priced at 1.50 Singapore dollars. This week's deal was done at 1.90.

As founding shareholders, Ryanasia bought into Tiger Airways at just 6.7c a share, implying a profit of Singapore $53.5m, or €31m, on this week's deal.

Paper profit

The family is sitting on paper profit of about the same amount for its remaining 29.25 million shares, based on last night's closing price of Singapore $1.92.

The Ryan family has been linked with Tiger since the airline was on the drawing board back in 2003.

Tiger went on to launch a year later, hoping to emulate the Ryanair model across south-east Asia.

A long-mooted IPO finally came through in January, after the airline reported half-year passenger numbers of 2.2 million, up 50pc year-on-year.

Tiger has since begun flying in Australia and recently linked up with Thailand's flag carrier Thai Airways to launch Thai Tiger, pitting itself against fellow Asian low-cost carrier Air Asia and Qantas's low-cost spin-off Jetstar.

Irish Independent

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