Carlyle Group considers sale of Trans Maldivian Airways for USD 700 million

Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane | Photo: TMA

United States – Bloomberg reports that a group of investors led by Carlyle Group Inc. is considering a sale of Trans Maldivian Airways, for a value ranging from USD 500 to 700 million.

Citing anonymous sources close to the matter, Bloomberg reports that Carlyle and co-investors King Street Capital Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management have held initial talks with potential advisers for the divestment of TMA, the world’s largest seaplane operator based in the Maldives.

While no decisions have been made regarding the sale, reports suggest potential parties are interested in acquiring the business.

The Carlyle Group acquired the majority shares of TMA from America’s Bain Capital and China’s Tempus Group Co. in 2021, after the latter failed to pay back the loan leveraged to buy out the company from Blackstone Group Inc. on time.

Familiar sources inform that Carlyle took majority ownership of TMA from Bain in exchange for agreeing to restructure the airline’s outstanding debt of about $300 million.

Established in 1993, TMA has grown rapidly over the years from having only two aircrafts at the beginning to help in transferring over 500,000 passengers per year. It is the oldest air services operator in the Maldives and has grown to become the largest seaplane operator in the world. TMA has also won the “World’s Leading Sea-Plane Operator” award continuously since the year 2014.