Malaysia Airlines De-Lists Stock, Announces Restructuring

After years of financial losses and two recent tragedies, Malaysia Airlines de-lists it stock and announces restructuring scheme.

Malaysia Airlines De-Lists Stock, Announces Restructuring
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After several years of monetary losses and two recent catastrophes, Malaysia Airlines is looking to de-list the company's stock and spend $429 million to buy out its minority shareholders.

This move doesn't come as too much of a surprise as the airline has been making headlines this year, but for all the wrong reasons.

It began in March when Flight 370 went missing over the Indian Ocean carrying with it 239 people on board. No trace of the plane or its passengers has yet been found.

And in July, one of its flights was shot downed over Ukraine killing all of the 298 people on board.

The airliner was also struggling financially before all this. Bloomberg reports the company has tallied up 4.13 billion ringgit or about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in losses over the previous three years.

The company made the restructuring announcement Thursday outlining its goals as "to revive our national airline to be profitable as a commercial entity and to serve its function as a critical national development entity." 

The plans includes de-listing all the company's stock and buying out its shareholders for 12.5 percent higher than Wednesday's closing price. The New York Times writes the company's shares haven't reached that price since February. 

It also includes downsizing their 20,000 member workforce, freezing wages, abandoning less profitable routes and reducing the number of planes. But all of that is still pending approval from the company's board of directors.

Notably, this kind of radical overhaul for a major airliner has worked in the past.

Japan Airlines Company went bankrupt in 2010 but when it went back on the market in 2012, it had the second largest IPO that year next to Facebook. 

And AirTran, formerly ValuJet, faced a very similar situation to Malaysia Airlines more than a decade ago. In 1996, ValuJet Airlines Flight 592 crashed in the Everglades killing everyone on board.

The company was then barred from operating for three months and customers began to quickly lose faith in the airline. So in 1997, ValuJet acquired AirTran and began operating under a new name. (Video via WSVN)

The New York Times reports that the name change and restructuring led to "one of the most unlikely success stories in the airline industry."

The Atlantic writes that Malaysia Airlines officials should consider following ValuJet's lead and ditch it's name that is now associated with two major catastrophes that attracted worldwide attention.

The Telegraph reported last month that the company was considering a name change, but Thursday's announcement mentioned nothing about switching up branding.

However, the company's statement did say this was the first of several stages to their restructuring scheme but did not get specific about what more could be coming if the initial changes are approved by its board of directors.

This video contains images from Getty Images.