Skymark Air to Get $145 Million Under Recovery Proposal

Skymark Airlines Inc. passenger jets
Skymark Airlines Inc. passenger jets taxi at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Skymark Airlines Inc. will receive an investment of 18 billion yen ($145 million) from three shareholder groups and look to relist within five years under a recovery plan the bankrupt carrier filed Friday with the Tokyo District Court.

Under terms of the plan, private-equity firm Integral Corp. -- which has been overseeing Skymark’s turnaround -- would maintain 50.1 percent control of the airline. UDS Airlines Investment Limited Partnership -- a fund established by the Development Bank of Japan Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. -- would have a 33.4 percent stake, with the remaining 16.5 percent held by ANA Holdings Inc., the parent company of All Nippon Airways Co.

“The most important point is to keep the independence of Skymark’s management and not to cut jobs,” said Nobuo Sayama, a partner at Integral. “By those policies I think we can obtain the employees trust.”

The long-awaited plan is a milestone in the turnaround for Skymark, which sought bankruptcy protection in January with liabilities of about 300 billion yen. The airline, Japan’s third largest, has said it expects to show an operating profit by July.

Under the plan, Skymark is asking creditors to accept a 5 percent repayment rate on its debts. A creditors meeting could be held in the late July or August, according to Takeo Nakahara, a lawyer representing Skymark.

Skymark’s two major creditors -- Airbus Group NV and Intrepid Aviation Ltd. -- sought to delay presentation of the revival plan, Nakahara said.

Airbus is demanding 85 billion yen in compensation for a canceled order of six A380 superjumbo planes, while Intrepid wants 104 billion yen from Skymark.

Takahiro Nosaka, a spokesman for Airbus Japan, said the company “can not comment as the matter is in the courts.”

Toyoyuki Nagamine, a senior vice president at ANA, said the airline would seek to win Airbus’s support for the plan.

“Our relationship with Airbus is friendly and based on mutual trust,” he said. “We believe we can find a solution.”

Under terms of the revival plan, Integral will invest about 9 billion yen in Skymark, UDS will invest about 6 billion yen and ANA will invest some 3 billion yen.

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