SriLankan Catering (SLC), the catering arm of the national carrier will be going for a public issue by early next year, according to officials. “We’re planning to list about 20% of SLC probably by next year. We want to see how the market will react to such an issue," Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Chairman SriLankan Airlines told the Business Times on the sidelines of a press conference to welcome North American and Canadian operators.
A foreign operator speaks at the briefing. Pic by Nalin Maligaspe
“This will be a classic case of ‘testing’ the share market and the investor appetite for such an issue,” he noted, adding that listing will bring in better performance in the entity as well.
He said that SLC management has called for proposals in this regard from some investment banks. He said how much the company is planning to raise will depend on the decisions of the management and these proposals.
Mr Wickramasinghe also welcomed the move by travel and tourism promoters to win the hearts of the discerning American travellers. “On behalf of the airline I pledge full support to promote Sri Lanka in the USA and Canada," he said.
He said that there is no better time to invest in the North American region as SriLankan Airlines is set to expand its business in several areas including the purchase of new destinations, increased frequencies and the commencement of the air taxi operations.
Nine reputed tour operators from North America and Canada embarked on a whirlwind 5-day familiarization tour conducted by United Holidays, to experience a few of Sri Lanka's many attractions, combining the Cultural Triangle and its World Heritage Cities; Wildlife Sanctuaries; historic City of Kandy; famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage; salubrious tea country in Nuwara Eliya, sandy beaches of Bentota and cosmopolitan Colombo.