Japan Air Has Last Trading Day Following Bankruptcy
Japan Airlines Corp., the first major Asian flag carrier to file for bankruptcy, has its last trading day in Tokyo today, wiping out shareholders in a company that was worth more than $6 billion as recently as March, BusinessWeek reported. The carrier will be officially delisted tomorrow after seeking court protection with 2.32 trillion yen ($26 billion) of debts last month. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama forced the bankruptcy in return for backing a $10 billion turnaround for Tokyo-based JAL, the recipient of at least four state bailouts in less than a decade. “It’s regrettable for investors that JAL will be delisted, but they should have seen this coming,” said Eisuke Nagatomo, a former Tokyo stock exchange executive who now advises companies as president of EN-Associates Co. “It will take a companywide effort to turn JAL around.” New Chairman Kazuo Inamori, 78, has asked staff to accept a 5 percent pay cut as he begins a restructuring that also includes shedding 31 routes, 53 planes and about a third of workers. The carrier, founded in 1951, was unprofitable in three of the past four fiscal years on domestic competition from bullet trains and slumping overseas travel. Read more.