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Malaysia Airline taken over by state firm

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The passenger check-in at Malaysia Airlines in Beijing, China.

Malaysia’s state investment company says it plans to fully take over Malaysia Airlines, bringing the company under government control.

Khazanah Nasional announced on Friday that it would remove Malaysia Airlines from the country’s stock exchange market and suspend trading in its shares.

The airline, which has been hit by a double disaster in recent months, is going through a “complete overhaul” aimed at saving the company from oblivion, as stated by the government.

“It needs a new heart, a new brain. As it exists now, the airline is doomed,” said Shukor Yusof, an analyst with Malaysia-based aviation consultancy Endau Analytics. “Each passing day is destroying its reputation and bottom line.”

The suspension of shares was the first step in plans by Malaysia’s state investment firm, which already owns 69 percent of the company, to buy out minority shareholders before a major restructuring.

Khazanah Nasional has tabled an offer to the carrier’s board to buy out minority shareholders at 27 sen (8 cents) a share.

According to the company’s records, the offered price is 29 percent higher than the airline’s average share price over the past three months.

The first disaster to hit the airline was the disappearance of its MH370 flight, which was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it went missing in March. The plane was carrying 239 people and is yet to be found with search efforts underway to locate it.

Also, in July, 298 people were killed when Malaysia Airline’s Flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine while it was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.


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