,KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 - AirAsia Group Bhdhas raised $82 million in a private share placement inwhich it added TPG Capital executives and Aimia Inc to itsboard, the Malaysian budget airline said on Wednesday as itlooks to ensure liquidity in 2021. The airline raised 336.46 million ringgit ($81.70 million)over two tranches by issuing 470.21 million new shares,representing 14.07% of the group's total issued shares. The airline said investment firm TPG Capital'sfounder and chairman David Bonderman and TPG Asia Partners,including Tim Dattels, Ganen Sarbananthan and Zubin Irani, haveinvested in their personal capacity. Hong Kong businessman Stanley Choi, chairman at Head &Shoulders Financial Group <IPO-HDSH.HK> and executive directorat International Entertainment Corporation, alsoparticipated. Choi has emerged as a substantial shareholder, raising hisstake to nearly 9% last month, bourse filings showed. Montreal-based investment firm Aimia Inc and otherlocal and foreign institutional funds also invested, AirAsiasaid, but did not share details of the size of the investments. AirAsia Group Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said theplacement is a significant part of the group's fundraising plan. "Of the gross total proceeds, AirAsia will allocate funds tosupport fuel hedging settlement, general working expenses,aircraft lease and maintenance payments and fund Airasia Digitalbusiness units, namely the Airasia super app and BigPay fintechplatforms," he said. Fernandes last month said the airline expects more clarityon its fundraising efforts, including a government-guaranteedloan by the end of March. REUTERS
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