Brazil airline Azul files for US initial public offering



Azul SA, the Brazilian airline led by JetBlue Airways Corp. founder David Neeleman, filed for an initial public offering in the U.S., following at least two previous delays because of slumping Brazilian stocks.
The Sao Paulo-based airline filed Monday for a $100 million IPO, a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that may change. Proceeds from the offering will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brazilians are anticipating an economic recovery in 2017 after the country’s deepest recession on record, the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and a corruption scandal that has lasted almost three years. Brazilian stocks have doubled in the past year in dollar terms amid optimism that President Michel Temer can restore confidence in the region’s biggest economy.
Only one company listed its shares in Brazil in 2016. Medical diagnostics provider Alliar Medicos a Frente SA went public in October, the first IPO in Brazil in 16 months. Almost a year ago, Neeleman said an IPO was off the agenda, in light of the economic climate in its home market. Azul was founded in 2008 by Neeleman, who is the company’s controlling shareholder as well as chairman and chief executive officer.
In June, Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras SA, Brazil’s third-biggest airline by passengers, said it was studying another reduction to its fleet as air-travel demand shrank to the lowest in five years. The country’s aviation industry contracted 5.5 percent last year, according to Abear, the Brazilian airline association. The airline plans to list American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange and preferred shares in Brazil.

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