MALE – Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) finalized a restructuring with new owners Carlyle, King Street Capital Management (“King Street”) and Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP (“Davidson Kempner”). The transaction, approved by TMA’s former equity owners, is intended to help provide a strong foundation for strategic business growth. The transaction is targeted at helping return the firm to solid financial footing and paving the way for TMA to focus on enhancing its world-class seaplane operations as it expands its key role in facilitating tourism and supporting jobs in the Maldives.
TMA is the world’s largest seaplane operator with a fleet of 56 seaplanes transporting tourists from the central Male International Airport to nearby islands.
Carlyle’s Global Credit platform led the restructuring, alongside King Street and Davidson Kempner, and funds affiliated with Carlyle have become TMA’s majority owner. A newly reconstituted Board of Directors will include Lars Erik Nielsen, one of TMA’s founders, and representatives from the new owners and other industry experts. TMA management will remain the same. Financial details were not disclosed.
Christian Schmitz, Managing Director, Carlyle Global Credit, said: “TMA is an operationally strong business with an experienced management team and clear competitive advantages. We are pleased to provide the strategic capital and expertise the company needs to return to growth. As vaccines continue to be rolled out globally, we expect travel to return to pre-pandemic levels in the Maldives, which remains one of most attractive vacation destinations in the world.”
A.U.M. Fawzy, CEO of TMA, said: "This transaction marks the beginning of a new chapter for TMA. We look forward to the support of our new owners as we ramp up business and continue providing the world-class service our customers have come to expect. As we do that, the health and safety of our customers and employees remain fundamentally important to both management and our new shareholders and we will continue to follow our industry-leading protocols to ensure the welfare of those involved in TMA’s operations.”
Zachary Lewis, Managing Director at King Street, said: “Our deep experience working with aviation companies positions us well to work alongside our partners at Carlyle and Davidson Kempner as we help lead the company to a strong recovery and its next growth stage.”
Clifford Chance served as legal advisor to the senior lenders and FTI Consulting, who acted as Receivers to TMA’s holding company.