Buyout firm Bain Capital is teaming up with a Chinese conglomerate in a half-billion dollar bid for Trans Maldivian Airways, Bloomberg has reported.
The US private equity company is partnering with Shenzhen-based Tempus Group Co, said Bloomberg citing unnamed sources, with the consortium discussing a valuation of around US$500 million.
TMA calls itself the world’s largest seaplane operator, saying it flew close to a million passengers around the Indian Ocean archipelago last year on more than 120,000 flights.
It has operated under the TMA brand since a controversial deal in 2013 when US private equity fund Blackstone snapped up a controlling stake in both the Maldives’ seaplane operators TMA and Maldivian Air Taxi for an undisclosed sum.
Major resort groups – speaking on condition of anonymity – alleged at the the time that a number of properties were losing money on a monthly basis as a result of being reliant on services provided by the consolidated national seaplane operator.
Blackstone has been exploring options for TMA including a possible sale after receiving takeover interest in the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter Bloomberg said in a September report.
Bain, founded by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has not commented on the TMA bid reports.