There is some intriguing news out of Japan today. ANA seems to have won the battle for Skymark with Airbus’ help. This gives ANA a very strong hand at Haneda.
Intrepid, which had backed Delta for a Skymark plan, offered this take on the news:
“Intrepid Aviation (“Intrepid”) can confirm that the majority of creditors of Skymark Airlines Inc. (“Skymark”) have voted in favor of the Debtor’s Rehabilitation Plan for Skymark, on both a numerical and value of voting rights basis.
As a result, the Tokyo District Court plans has issued a confirmation order for the Debtor’s Rehabilitation Plan.
The results of the vote were announced by the Tokyo District Court at a creditors meeting held at the Court today. In June, the Tokyo District Court approved two plans—the Creditors’ Rehabilitation Plan and the Debtor’s Rehabilitation Plan—to be put forward for vote by Skymark creditors. To be successfully approved by the Court, under Japanese law a majority of Skymark creditors need to vote in favor of one plan on both a numerical and value of voting rights basis.
Franklin Pray, Intrepid President & CEO said, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to our fellow creditors for their active participation in this important vote. While this is not the result we had hoped for, as Skymark’s single largest creditor, Intrepid will continue to focus on working constructively with key stakeholders for outcomes that are in the best interests of Skymark’s employees, business partners and other creditors.”
According to the Tokyo District Court, results of the Skymark creditor vote are as follows:
- Skymark creditors representing 60.25% of the value of claims voted in favor of the Debtor’s Rehabilitation Plan.
- By number of creditors, 135.5 of the 174 creditors who voted, voted in favor of the Debtor’s Rehabilitation”
This outcome appears to be based on Airbus’ decision to support ANA over Delta and Intrepid. Delta loses a rare opportunity to get their hands on a Japanese partner. It may be a long time before Delta sees a chance like this again.
According to the WSJ linked story, ANA Holdings Executive Vice President Toyoyuki Nagamine reckoned the win was thanks to the company’s longtime relationships with large debt holders such as Airbus Group and Rolls Royce. ANA has ordered about 40 Airbus jets and many of its aircraft use Rolls-Royce engines. Maybe. But that was all on the table before Skymark’s bankruptcy plan was submitted and initially Intrepid favored the ANA plan.
Once ANA made it clear they were not going to take Skymark’s A330s and A380s, Airbus and Intrepid started working on another plan. Intrepid got Delta to be the sponsor of an alternative plan. That plan looked good as it was understood to have Intrepid, Airbus and Rolls-Royce backing. Even the Japanese government seemed to favor a plan to keep three independent airlines in play. The FT points out that the swing by Airbus seemed to undo the Delta plan.
Skymark offered this statement: “The debtor’s plan (Skymark + ANA HD) has won majority of vote at the creditors meeting today, and the creditor’s plan (Intrepid + Delta) has been declined. Unless complaint to this vote will be submitted to the court within two weeks from tomorrow, our plan will be officially approved.”
Airbus offered this statement: “We understand that the debtor plan submitted by Skymark, with the support of ANA HD, has been approved by a majority of the creditors. We positively acknowledge this outcome and look forward to Skymark’s swift and stable rehabilitation.”
Now we wait for the other shoe to drop. What did ANA offer Airbus and Rolls-Royce to change sides? Intrepid looks to be a bigger Airbus customer than ANA. For Airbus to switch sides something big must have been offered. Bear in mind Airbus has a lawsuit against Skymark for the A380s, two of which are parked forlornly in Toulouse. Moreover, could this be where Airbus might be placing those A350 delivery slots it took back from Singapore? This story is nowhere near over yet.