Malaysia low cost carrier AirAsia attempting to re-enter the Japanese low cost airline market. It will be entering into a shareholders agreement with Octave Japan Infrastructure Fund I GK (Octave), Rakuten Inc. (Rakuten), Noevir Holdings Co. Ltd. (Noevir), and Alpen Co. Ltd. (Alpen) to establish AirAsia Japan Co., Ltd. sometime later this month. The new airline branded AirAsia Japan is expected to commence operations in 2015 subject to discussions with the relevant authorities
Tentatively, the company will have a capital of seven billion yen or about $69 million at today’s exchange rates, and its CEO will be Yoshinori Odagiri. The share-holding pattern will see AirAsia holding 49% stake, Octave 19%, Rakuten 18%, Noevir 9% and Alpen 5%. Octave is a custom financial vehicle just created to acquire, own, manage, hold, sell, and dispose of the shares of AirAsia Japan and make collections from the shares of AirAsia Japan. Rakuten is a 17 year old Japanese company with major businesses including internet e-commerce and travel, bank, credit card, securities, etc. in the financial services domain, telecommunications and professional sports. Noevir is a three year old Japanese company focussed on cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, health food, apparel and aviation. Alpen is the oldest of the companies, 42 years old, its major business includes manufacturing and retail of variety of sporting goods equipment for ski, golf, tennis, marine sports, baseball, and leisure goods. The company also manages various ski resorts, golf courses and fitness clubs.
In June last year, citing a variety of fundamental differences with its partner, AirAsia terminated its two year old 49%-51% joint venture with ANA Holdings Inc. which operated the AirAsia Japan brand. ANA acquired the complete shareholding and re-branded the airline Vanilla Air from November 1, 2013.