Kenya Airways chooses American Investment Bank to advise on capital-raising

Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has picked U.S. investment banking firm PJT Partners to advise it on the restructuring of its balance sheet and long-term capital refinancing as it hopes to return to profitability after a long period of losses.

Attacks by Islamist militants has hurt Kenya’s important tourism industry, eating into the carrier’s revenue after it had bought expensive airplanes to upgrade services. The airline has been making losses for more than three years now, with shares losing over half of its value.

“We are at a stage where our turnaround strategy is beginning to gain traction,” said Mbuvi Ngunze, chief executive of the airline, in a statement on Monday.

The airline has reported losses for the past three years. It almost went under last year but for a $200 million bridging loan.

The Kenyan government, which holds a 29.8 percent stake in the carrier has said a capital injection of $500-$600 million would ensure its survival.

As part of its turnaround efforts, KQ drew down half of its $200 million bridging loan, last year, and also plans to sell land and some of its Boeing aircraft to shore up its capital.

Ngunze said the airline would work with PJT Partners the next six to nine months “and they will be instrumental in assisting the airline to secure its future beyond the turnaround”.