ARIK Air has asked London accountancy firm Deliotte to put together a flotation package as part of the airlines ambitious plans to float on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and increase its number of flights to Nigeria.
Arik is the biggest airline in West and Central Africa with about 23 aircraft, operating 120 daily flights to destinations in Africa, Europe and America. It now plans to take this further with a stock market flotation and a possible increase in its flights to the UK, for which there is certain to be a demand following the collapse of its rival Air Nigeria.
Under the airline’s flotation plans which are already at an advanced stage, Nigerians, both at home and in the diaspora will be able to buy stakes in Arik Air once it goes public. Deliotte is currently auditing Arik’s books and it is hoped that the listing may take place before the end of the year.
Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, Arik’s chairman, dropped the first hint about the airline going public sometime last year during its fifth anniversary. Since then, the company has been mute about its plans but industry insiders believe the flotation will take place soon.