Thai AirAsia owner in talks to buy stake in rival Nok Air

Nok Air has a market capitalisation of ฿9.3 billion (US$297.03 million) and the stock is currently trading at its highest since March 2018. (Reuters pic)

BANGKOK: Thailand’s Asia Aviation, the owner of low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia, on Monday said it was considering to buy a stake in rival Nok Airlines, sending its share prices soaring.

“The company is currently considering weather such investment is appropriate,” Chief Financial Officer, Santhat Sanguandikul, said in a statement, referring to acquiring shares from the billionaire Jurangkool family, sending Nok Air’s share prices up 13%.

The company has a market capitalisation of ฿9.3 billion (US$297.03 million) and the stock is currently trading at ฿3.06, its highest since March 2018.

The Jurangkool family, which owns unlisted auto-parts company, Thai Summit and Thai Steel Cable Pcl, currently owns 53% in Nok Air.

The announcement comes as national carrier, Thai Airways waived its rights to subscribe new shares in Nok Air and dropped holdings to 15.9% from 21.8%.

Asia Aviation owns 55% in Thai AirAsia, with the remaining stake held by Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd.