Oil & Gas

KKR exits Malaysian helicopter services operator after a decade

Buyout firm KKR & Co. has sold all its stake in Weststar Aviation Services, marking its full exit from the Malaysian helicopter services company after a decade.

The Weststar Group bought KKR’s remaining 21% stake in the unit for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement on March 3. Weststar Group, controlled by businessman Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, is now the sole shareholder of the helicopter operator.

Weststar Aviation is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest helicopter services firms and the world’s third-largest operator of AW139 helicopters, its website shows. Its clients include oil and gas majors. KKR acquired a 40% stake in Weststar Aviation in 2013 in its first investment in Malaysia.

Weststar Group, founded in 2003, runs a wide range of businesses including aviation, automobiles, property and insurance, according to its website.

The conglomerate is considering an initial public offering of the helicopter unit in Kuala Lumpur to raise at least $300 million, Bloomberg News reported last year.

Weststar Group had attempted to list the helicopter unit before, according to local media reports. In 2017, Syed Azman told The Edge that it’s gauging the market for a listing of the aviation business.

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