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Azul CEO Neeleman Says IPO Will Be Revived as Brazil Rebounds

Azul CEO David Neeleman
Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA founder and Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA founder and Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman, who canceled the carrier’s initial public offering last month, said he’s confident in the Brazilian economy and intends to do an IPO.

“The timing wasn’t right,” Neeleman, who also created JetBlue Airways Corp., said in an interview today on CNBC. “It was more of a market conditions issue and I think market conditions in Brazil will rebound.”

Azul, the third-largest carrier in Brazil by market share, sought to raise as much as 1 billion reais ($440 million) through the IPO, a person familiar with the plan said in June. The company, based in Barueri, Brazil, scrapped the plan in August because of “unfavorable macroeconomic conditions.”

The real has fallen about 10 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, increasing the price of imports and jet fuel. No Brazilian company has completed a sale since July, when renewable energy producer CPFL Energias Renovaveis SA raised 900 million reais. Brazil’s biggest cement maker, Votorantim Cimentos SA, also suspended a $3.7 billion IPO in August.

Neeleman said he intends to go ahead with an IPO for Azul, which will trade on both the Bovespa index and as American depository receipts on the New York Stock Exchange.

“We’ll get it back on track,” Neeleman said.

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