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Japanese Airline ANA Rescues Rival Skymark

Aug. 5, 2015
All Nippon Airlines bids the equivalent of more than $140 million for a share of Skymark Airlines, blocking Delta from another acquisition and a coveted spot for domestic flights at Tokyo airports.

TOKYO — Creditors of Japan’s bankrupt Skymark Airlines voted on Wednesday in favor of a rescue plan led by All Nippon Airways (ANA), edging out a rival bid that included U.S. carrier Delta.

More than half the troubled firm’s creditors chose an 18 billion yen ($144.71 million) turnaround scheme that would see Skymark’s banks, ANA and a domestic asset manager take ownership, the airline said.

“At the debtors’ meeting today, the revival plan that Skymark submitted passed and received approval from the Tokyo District Court,” the airline said.

Under the deal, investment fund Integral would take a 50.1% stake, while a fund set up jointly by the Development Bank of Japan and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp would get a 33.4% share. ANA Holdings, parent company of All Nippon Airways, would own 16.5% of Skymark.

Skymark, which flies on domestic routes, filed for bankruptcy protection in late January in the face of potentially massive penalties linked to a canceled $2.2 billion jet order with Airbus.

The still-operating airline’s efforts to turn itself around failed as it struggled against tough competition in the sector, while its troubles deepened after the deal with Airbus collapsed last summer.

Airbus, a major creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings, was leaning toward supporting the ANA-led rescue plan, the Nikkei business daily reported earlier Wednesday.

If the competing plan — which was led by U.S. firm Intrepid Aviation and joined by Delta — had been successful, Delta would have been the first foreign airline to get access to slots for domestic flights at Tokyo’s downtown airport. The coveted slots are currently limited to Japanese carriers, including ANA and Japan Airlines, as well as Skymark.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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