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Azul, the Brazilian airline that has grounded its flotation plans twice before, may finally be ready for takeoff.
The company founded by former JetBlue chief executive David Neeleman filed paperwork with US securities regulators on Monday to raise as much as $100m in an initial public offering, reports Eric Platt in New York.
The $100m figure, a placeholder, is likely to change as underwriters begin a roadshow marketing the company to investors. Azul said it would use the proceeds to repay BRL333m ($106.8m) of its existing debts and for general corporate purposes.
This will be the company’s third attempt at going public. It first filed for an IPO in 2013 before withdrawing those plans 14 months later. It tried again in December 2014 only to scrap the plans again the following year.
Azul operates a fleet of 123 aircraft and said it was the largest airline in Brazil based on number of departures and cities served, according to its prospectus.
Sales climbed 7 per cent in 2016 to BRL6.7bn and the group’s net loss narrowed to BRL126m from BRL1.07bn a year prior.
“Despite the contraction of the Brazilian economy, which started in 2014 and deepened in 2015 into the first half of 2016, we began to see a recovery during the second half of 2016,” the company’s management wrote in the filing.
The company raised US$550m over the last two years through investments by United Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Itau BBA were set to lead the offering, which if successful would include American depositary shares floated on the New York Stock Exchange.
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