US equity fund TPG may invest in Japan Airlines: AMR

TOKYO, Nov 11, 2009 (AFP) - Cash-strapped Japan Airlines may receive an investment from US private equity firm TPG, along with American Airlines parent company AMR Corp., the US carrier's chief financial officer said Wednesday.

"TPG is a well-respected investor in the airline space," Tom Horton told reporters. "To the extent that there is an investment to be made, they would be a natural partner for American."

JAL is considering a tie-up with an overseas carrier in a bid to secure financial support in the face of deepening losses.

American and rival Delta Air Lines Inc. are said to be considering buying minority stakes in JAL, eyeing its lucrative Asian routes.

Delta is part of the SkyTeam global airline alliance, while JAL and American Airlines belong to the competing Oneworld grouping.

JAL is set to receive an emergency loan from the state-backed Development Bank of Japan to help it to keep flying, the government said Tuesday, without disclosing the amount.

The lender may extend as much as 100 billion yen (1.1 billion dollars) in loans to the airline, Dow Jones Newswires reported, quoting an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Cash-strapped JAL is thought to urgently need about 200 billion yen in emergency financing.

JAL is also seeking an injection of public funds to boost its capital as it restructures under the supervision of a government-backed corporate revival body.

The carrier -- the recipient of three such government bailouts since 2001 -- lost more than one billion dollars in the April-June quarter and plans thousands of job cuts and a drastic reduction in routes.

Source: AFP

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