Kenya Airways picks PJT Partners to advise on capital-raising

Kenya Airways has selected U.S. investment banking firm PJT Partners to advise on long-term capital-raising and the restructuring of its balance sheet, as it seeks to secure its survival after a long period of losses.

The airline has been making losses for the past three and a half years and last year needed a bridging loan to keep flying. The Kenyan government, which holds a 29.8 percent stake, has said the carrier requires a capital injection of $500-$600 million to survive.

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

He said PJT Partners, which offers strategy, restructuring and fund-raising services, will work with the carrier over the next six to nine months.

The airline, also 26.7 percent owned by Air France KLM, drew down half of its $200 million bridging loan with Cairo-based Afreximbank last year. It is also selling some of its Boeing-made, wide-body aircrafts as well as land to shore up its capital.

A series of Islamist militant attacks in Kenya has hurt the country’s tourism industry, cutting into the airline’s revenue right after it bought expensive, modern airplanes.

Its shares ended at 4.30 shillings on Monday, close to a record low of 4.05 shillings. The shares have lost 57 percent of their value in the past year.