Malaysia’s Weststar Group is considering an initial public stock offering (IPO) of its Kuala Lumpur-based helicopter services unit Weststar Aviation. The IPO is targeted to raise at least $300 million, according to reports, and would be in addition to a block sale of approximately 20 percent of the shares in the $2 billion company.
Weststar operates Southeast Asia’s largest offshore energy helicopter fleet. Its 44 helicopters, the vast majority of which are Leonardo AW139 and AW189 twins, are used to service a variety of offshore energy clients, including Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips, in markets such as Malaysia, Mauritania, Indonesia, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. Weststar’s 35-strong AW139 fleet is the world’s third-largest of the type.
Founded in 2003, Weststar Group is controlled by Malaysian billionaire Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, a former military intelligence officer. Weststar business units include aviation, automobiles, insurance, and property. Weststar Aviation is backed by New York investment firm KKR, which owns 22 percent of the company and already owns a large share of the U.S. air ambulance market via its acquisitions of Air Medical Group Holdings in 2015 and Air Medical Response in 2017.