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CORRECTED (OFFICIAL)-EXCLUSIVE-Vietnam's Bamboo Airways plans to raise $200 mln in U.S. IPO - chairman

(Corrects paragraph 3 after executive clarifies that Bamboo Airways has been working with (not hired) an international auditing firm)

HANOI, April 14 (Reuters) - Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways plans to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering in the United States, potentially securing a market capitalisation of up to $4 billion, its chairman Trinh Van Quyet said on Wednesday.

Bamboo Airways, owned by property and leisure company FLC Group, plans to offer a 5%-7% stake in the IPO, which it expects in the third quarter of this year, Quyet told Reuters in an interview.

“The IPO will be part of our efforts to expand our services globally,” Quyet said, adding that Bamboo Airways has been working with an international auditing firm for the potential offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said last month it planned to list its shares on a local stock exchange in the third quarter, but Quyet said on Wednesday that was now “a backup plan, depending on market conditions”.

Quyet said the airline will increase its fleet to 40 aircraft by the end of this year, from the current 30, adding two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners would be among the new planes.

He said the airline wanted to launch flights to new destinations including the U.S., Australia, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom this year if the COVID-19 pandemic situation improved.

“We will start conducting chartered flights to the U.S. in July and target the launch of non-stop commercial flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco in September, with an initial frequency of three flights per week,” Quyet said.

Bamboo Airways, which made its maiden flight in January 2019, is targeting a 25% rise in pretax profit to 500 billion dong this year he added. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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