AirAsia founders to launch $65 million Tune Insurance IPO by end-Feb: sources

KUALA LUMPUR Sun Jan 6, 2013 7:56pm EST

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The founders of Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd (AIRA.KL) are expected to launch a $65 million initial public offering (IPO) of Tune Insurance Bhd by the end of February, two sources close to the deal told Reuters.

The flotation would be the first of three IPOs due to raise a combined $500 million that Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, founders of Asia's largest budget carrier, are planning this year.

"An investor road show will begin towards the end of this month," one of the sources said, declining to be named as the matter is still private.

Tune Insurance officials were not immediately available to comment.

A source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters in October that Tune Insurance, a unit of financial services-to-discount hotel conglomerate Tune Group owned by Fernandes and Kamarudin, is looking at a market capitalization of $260 million upon listing.

The IPO, comprising 210 million shares, will help to fund Tune Insurance's expansion plans in the underinsured Southeast Asia region, Fernandes, who is due to take on the hire-or-fire role of would-be employer in an Asian adaptation of "The Apprentice" TV show, told reporters last September.

RHB Investment Bank RHBCR.UL is the principal adviser for the IPO. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (CIMB.KL), CLSA, ECM Libra Financial Group Bhd (ECMA.KL) and RHB are the joint book runners.

(Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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