PETALING JAYA: AirAsia Group Bhd has divested its remaining 25% stake in its joint venture (JV) company AAE Travel Pte Ltd for US$60 million (RM240 million) to the 75% stakeholder, Expedia Inc's Expedia Southeast Asia Pte Ltd, in a bid to monetise its investment and utilise the proceeds as working capital.
The group announced in a bourse filing yesterday that it has executed an agreement for the disposal and the cash purchase consideration is net of AirAsia's concurrent purchase of AirAsiaGo.com domain names and related assets from AAE Travel by Travel 360 Sdn Bhd.
AirAsiaGo.com, which offers a full suite of travel products including AirAsia flight and hotel packages featuring Expedia Group lodging content, will continue to be powered by Expedia Group.
In accordance with the asset transfer agreement, the JV company will transfer its right, title and interest in and to certain assets related to the AirAsiaGo business and brand to Travel360, while the private label and co-brand agreement by Travel360 stipulates that Expedia will provide certain private label services in respect of the AirAsiaGo business to AirAsia Bhd.
"This sale represents the divestment of the last of our non-core investments from the previous round of joint ventures. These proceeds will be used to develop big unicorn products such as BigPay, Travel 360, Redbox Logistics and Ourshop.
"This first set of joint ventures has taught us a tremendous amount and shareholders who have seen huge returns from our first round of partnerships haven't seen anything yet," group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said in a separate statement.
“Expedia Group has been a great partner to AirAsia and we look forward to continuing to work very closely in the future, particularly regarding regional and global distribution of AirAsia flights, he added.
Meanwhile, Expedia Group president and CEO Mark Okerstrom said the acquisition of full ownership of AAE Travel reflects the group’s full belief in the immense potential of the Asian travel market of over US$485 billion.
The joint venture was formed on March 29, 2011 to establish an online travel agency with three main brands, namely, AirAsiaGo, GoRooms and Expedia.