Singapore Airlines Boosts Liquidity With Major New Equity Issuance

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900XWB
Credit: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will raise up to S$15 billion ($10.5 billion) through the issue of new shares and bonds, with the backing of its majority shareholder, state-owned Temasek Holdings.

The infusion of funds is part of the company’s efforts to help weather the COVID-19 crisis, which has forced SIA to suspend almost all of its schedule. The equity moves were announced on the same day as the Singapore government revealed a massive stimulus package that contains additional support for the aviation industry.

Under the latest initiative, SIA will offer shareholders S$5.3 billion in new equity and up to S$9.7 billion through 10-year mandatory convertible bonds. These will be offered to shareholders on a pro-rata basis, and both issuances will be treated as equity on the company’s balance sheet, SIA said.

SIA has also arranged a S$4 billion bridge loan facility with DBS Bank, which it said will support “near-term liquidity requirements.”

These measures will be voted on by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting to be held soon. Temasek said it will vote in favor of the issuances and has committed to purchasing its pro-rata entitlements as well as providing a backstop by purchasing any unsubscribed remainder.

SIA’s board is “confident that this package of new funding will ensure that SIA is equipped with the resources to overcome the current challenges and be in a position of strength to grow and reinforce our leadership in the aviation sector,” SIA chairman Peter Seah said.

“This transaction will not only tide SIA over a short-term financial liquidity challenge, but will position it for growth beyond the pandemic,” Temasek CEO Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara said. He stressed that Temasek “fully support[s]” SIA’s plans, including its fleet modernization strategy which will see the delivery of more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.