(Dealbook) Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, an airline Mr. Neeleman founded in Brazil in 2008, has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States and the Brazilian securities regulator, the C.V.M., to conduct an initial public offering. TPG Growth, Weston Presidio, Grupo Bozano, and Gávea Investimentos each own stakes in Azul.
The JetBlue founder David Neeleman is aiming to take another airline company public.
Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, an airline Mr. Neeleman founded in Brazil in 2008, has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States and the Brazilian securities regulator, the C.V.M., to conduct an initial public offering.
The firm had originally planned a listing in 2013, and at the time it was reportedly seeking to raise about $500 million. But adverse market conditions led to the deal’s cancellation.
The latest offering will be entirely in preferred shares, which receive dividends but do not give voting rights. Mr. Neeleman, who owns 67 percent of the firm’s common shares, will maintain control of the company. The company plans to list the preferred shares as American depositary shares in the United States as well as regular preferred shares in São Paulo.
The private equity firms TPG Growth, Weston Presidio, Grupo Bozano, and Gávea Investimentos (owned by J.P. Morgan) also own stakes in Azul.
Although Mr. Neeleman’s family is American, he was born in Brazil and has Brazilian citizenship (Brazilian law forbids majority foreign ownership of airlines).
Azul is Brazil’s third-largest airline after TAM and GOL, and has a 15.9 percent market share. It is also the country’s fastest growing airline, based on passenger kilometers flown, according to the National Civil Aviation Agency. The company had 4.2 billion reais ($1.64 billion) in revenue for the first nine months of this year.
Brazil’s airline market as a whole has had 13 consecutive months of growth in spite of the nation’s sluggish economy.
This year had been slow for Brazil’s capital markets, as political uncertainty and a volatile currency took their toll. Only one company, a veterinary medicine business little known outside Brazil, went public.
But the fall in petroleum prices is helping airline stocks worldwide. And the recent appointment of a former financial market executive, Joaquim Levy, as Brazil’s finance minister has restored some optimism to the country’s capital markets.
According to Azul’s prospectus, the money raised will be used to finance expansion plans and to pay down debt. In November, Azul announced it would buy 38 Airbus A320neo jets and lease 25 more. The company has also just begun international service, with the first flight connecting Brazil and the United States scheduled for Tuesday.
Morgan Stanley, Itaú BBA, Goldman Sachs, Santander, Banco do Brasil, Raymond James, Banco Pine, and Deutsche Bank are the deal’s international underwriters.