TOKYO: The Tokyo Stock Exchange said today it had approved the relisting of Japan Airlines (JAL), the flag-carrier that went bust in one of the nation’s biggest-ever bankruptcies more than two years ago.
JAL, which went bankrupt in January 2010 and its shares delisted the following month with debts totalling 2.32 trillion yen (US$29 billion), is to list again on September 19, the exchange said.
The carrier may raise as much as 600 billion yen through the share offering, Jiji Press news agency reported, nearly double the 350 billion yen worth of public money spent to keep the carrier afloat during its restructuring and the biggest share sale in Japan this year.
The company declined to say how much the offer would raise because the pricing of the deal had yet to be decided.
The airline continued to fly during its time off the stock exchange, implementing massive job and route cuts.
The listing approval comes a day after JAL said its April-June quarter net profit had more than doubled to 26.9 billion yen.
Cost cutting and improved productivity were credited by the company for the result, which was up from a 12.7 billion yen net profit a year ago.
It said revenue had climbed 12.5% to 286.7 billion yen on the back of a pickup in international travel demand as a strong yen prompted more Japanese to venture overseas.
The result was a major turnaround for once-venerable carrier, which exited bankruptcy proceedings in March last year, more than a year after a spectacular collapse that prompted the government bailout.
Rival All Nippon Airways, whose market capitalisation was roughly 615 billion yen as of today morning, is to announce its quarterly results later today.
JAL president Yoshiharu Ueki apologised today to creditors and former shareholders who took a hit when the airline sought bankruptcy protection.
“We apologise anew for causing tremendous trouble to many people concerned,” Ueki said in a statement.
“We express our sincere gratitude. It is because of your understanding and cooperation that we were able to restructure to the point of getting listing approval over the short period of time since the bankruptcy,” it said.
Ueki said the airline will be able to return the 350 billion in bailout money through the share offer, adding that the new JAL will pay regular dividends to shareholders.