Khazanah Nasional Bhd expects to finalise the strategic partner for Malaysia Airlines Bhd by the end of the year. NST pix by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd expects to finalise the strategic partner for Malaysia Airlines Bhd by the end of the year.

Khazanah managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the sovereign wealth fund had received proposals from more than 20 parties to take over the beleaguered national carrier.

“The proposals were a combination of fund managers, global and regional airlines as well as investors,” Shahril Ridza told the New Straits Times on the sidelines of Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2019 on Monday.

He said Khazanah should be able to provide some recommendations to the government once the evaluation process was finalised.

Khazanah had in late July hired Morgan Stanley to explore strategic options to turn around Malaysia Airines including the potential stake sale.

Shahril Ridza said Morgan Stanley’s appointment was vital for Khazanah to reach out potential investors as the fund preferred an independent advisor running the due diligence in evaluating the commercial and business process.

“This is to make sure the counterparts are assured of their confidentiality, while ensuring there is a fairness in the process,” he added.

Khazanah believes Malaysia Airlines still has intrinsic value and aims to find the right partnership to unlock the national carrier’s value.

“Khazanah expects to inject RM1.3 billion for this year. It is an investment to keep the airline going for its operational cost,” he said.

It was reported that Khazanah had injected about RM800 million into Malaysia Airlines through its holding company Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad early this week said the government would let Khazanah to decide on Malaysia Airlines’ potential partner.

“I have not spoken to them (Khazanah), there have been numerous contenders, including many proposals from local companies. However, it will be up to Khazanah to decide,” he told reporters in Parliament on Monday.

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