Cimber Sterling jumps on takeover reports; SpiceJet shareholder could increase stake

Shares in Danish LCC jumped by 66% on Friday, following a report that Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky is in talks to purchase the struggling carrier. Cimber has not commented on the takeover speculation by confirmed it is in talks with "a number of potential investors", although no agreement has been reached.

According to reports, the LCC could be merged with Swedish carrier Skyways, which Mr Kolomoisky controls. Skyways CEO Lars Ake Bertilsson stated: "We aim to create a strong northern European airline under the name Skyways, and we absolutely would like to be present in Denmark, Norway and Sweden where it would be obvious to start."

On 17-May-2011, Cimber Sterling adjusting its full-year guidance for 2010/11 downwards to an EBIT loss in the range of USD36-38 million (DKK190–200 million), as compared with the previous guidance of a USD24-28 million (DKK125–145 million) loss.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet CEO Neil Mills stated major shareholder KAL Airways may inject up to INR2 billion (USD44.4 million) into the carrier this year. KAL Airways controls a 38.6% share in the airline. 

SpiceJet reported the following financial highlights for the 12 months ended Mar-2011:

  • Total revenue: USD649.6 million, +33.2% year-on-year;
  • Costs:
    • Aircraft fuel: +50.6%;
    • Aircraft lease rentals: +9.9%;
    • Staff: +32.6%;
  • Operating profit: USD23.6 million, +168.1%;
  • Net profit/loss: USD22.4 million, +64.6%.
  • Passenger numbers: +30%;
  • Capacity (ASKs): +19%.

Selected LCC share price movements (% change): 27-May-2011