Mexico’s AeroMexico to raise $230 mln in IPO

* Airline to float just over 18 pct of its capital

* Company aims to expand fleet with 20 new planes

MEXICO CITY, March 31 (Reuters) – Mexico’s top airline,
AeroMexico, expects to raise as much as $230 million in its
initial public offering as part of a broader plan to inject
fresh cash into the company to boost operations.

The company said in a filing with the Mexican stock
exchange late on Wednesday that the Mexico-only stock offering
will have a price range of between 30 and 34 pesos.

The carrier’s chief executive officer, Andres Conesa, told
Reuters that the IPO could take place before Easter, which this
year falls in late April.

AeroMexico became the only large Mexican airline in the
skies after competitor Mexicana ceased operations in August
under heavy debt and labor conflicts.

The IPO is part of a two-year, $1.3 billion growth plan
that also includes a $314 million loan from a Brazilian bank to
fund the acquisition of 10 Embraer (ERJ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) (EMBR3.SA: Quote, Profile, Research)

Other loans currently being negotiated by AeroMexico will
help it buy 10 more Boeing 737 (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) planes, management said
at a press conference on Wednesday.

Mexico’s last IPO was in November with the listing of OHL
Mexico (OHLMEX.MX: Quote, Profile, Research), a unit of Spanish construction group
Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) — the biggest listing in Mexico
in nearly two decades.

Mexican Stock Exchange (BOLSAA.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Luis
Tellez told Reuters on March 17 he expected to see 10 IPO deals
by the end of the year, compared with four deals in 2010.

AeroMexico may not be the only airline tapping the market
this year. Smaller carrier Interjet also has suggested it might
go public while local media has pitched the name of its rival
Volaris as another possible IPO candidate.

Accival, the brokerage arm of Banamex bank, Deutsche
Securities and Actinver (ACTINVRB.MX: Quote, Profile, Research) are the lead books in the
(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Mexico’s AeroMexico to raise $230 mln in IPO