Skymark Plan Is Best Option for Bankrupt Airline, ANA CEO Says

The chief executive officer of ANA Holdings Inc., one of the companies planning to invest in a bailout of Skymark Airlines Inc., defended the plan Monday as the best option for the bankrupt Japanese carrier, amid a competing proposal from Skymark’s largest creditor.

A plan submitted May 29 to the Tokyo District Court calls for Skymark to receive an injection of 18 billion yen ($145 million) from three shareholder groups -- including the parent company of All Nippon Airways Co. -- and relist within five years. ANA CEO Shinya Katanozaka said Monday he’s “confident” in the plan.

Skymark confirmed a Reuters report that the airline’s largest creditor, Intrepid Aviation Ltd., filed an alternative proposal May 29 that doesn’t involve ANA. Representatives for Intrepid and Airbus Group NV, Skymark’s second-largest creditor, declined to comment.

Skymark, Japan’s third-largest airline, sought bankruptcy protection in January with about 300 billion yen in liabilities. Skymark asked its creditors to accept a 5 percent repayment rate on its debts and aims to become profitable again by July.

Under Skymark’s plan, private-equity firm Integral Corp would have 50.1 percent of the airline and ANA Holdings would have 16.5 percent. The rest would be held by a fund set up by the Development Bank of Japan Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.

Shonjiro Mizuno, a spokesman for Skymark, said the plan involving ANA offers a more realistic solution than Intrepid’s proposal, and is better for creditors.

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