Malaysia-based Capital A (formerly known as AirAsia Group Berhad) said Wednesday that Capital A International (CAPI), owner of the iconic AirAsia brand, will be publicly listed in the United States through business combination with Aetherium Acquisition Corp.

Capital A said in a statement that it has finalized a business combination agreement with Aetherium Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), to list CAPI in the U.S. public markets.

The transaction reflects an estimated pro forma enterprise value for CAPI of $1.15 billion.

According to the statement, the transaction also offers investors a gateway to participate in a fast-growing economic hub, on track to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030.

CAPI is a global brand management platform, specializes in the expansion, management and licensing of the AirAsia brand.

The firm leverages the expansion, management and licensing of the AirAsia brand, and serves as a dynamic global marketing catalyst for ASEAN brands.

CAPI will be led by Capital A Founder and Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes.

“Over more than two decades, AirAsia has become a prestigious brand synonymous with value, innovation and inclusivity,

“AirAsia has transformed from a small Malaysian airline into a leading global aviation and travel brand valued at over $1 billion, and enabled Capital A to build a diversified portfolio spanning aviation, aviation services, logistics, and digital companies in fintech, travel and hospitality,” said Fernandes.

According to him, the evolution of the AirAsia brand has created a loyal global consumer base, positioning them favorably to expand our brand internationally through CAPI.

“This listing grants us access to the world’s most extensive and liquid capital markets, enhancing the company’s international credibility and presence while creating value for our shareholders,” he said.

It is noted that in addition to the AirAsia brand, CAPI holds the intellectual property rights for 14 other renowned brands and over 224 trademarks spanning 23 countries.

CAPI’s platform integrates brand strategy, creative marketing and intellectual property development to strategically position its brands and cultivate cultural significance among consumers.

The company intends to leverage the brand value of AirAsia through further licensing while implementing its successful strategy to propel and expedite the growth of its intellectual property portfolio.

“We are the first ASEAN-based brand in the travel sector to adopt this strategy and expand through licensing, leveraging our strong ties to the ASEAN region,” said Fernandes.

Additionally, he said the firm’s growth strategy involves acquiring and developing more brands from this dynamic region.

“We are optimistic about the potential for our brand business to expand well beyond our origins, particularly in markets where intellectual property and brand value are highly esteemed by consumers and investors,” he said.

According to him, the ASEAN region offers a thriving economic landscape with a 680 million population, surpassing the United States and closely trailing the European Union.

Fueled by a growing middle-income population that is creating new consumer markets and economic opportunities, he said the region is poised for sustained growth.

“Moreover, the recent surge in popularity of Asia-based media, entertainment, and lifestyle brands underscores the escalating global demand for brands originating in Asia,” he added.

Jonathan Chan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aetherium, said they are thrilled to partner with Fernandes and the CAPI team to capitalize on their proven track record and extend the brand beyond the world’s fastest-growing consumer-driven market, boasting a population twice the size of the United States.

“Under Fernandes’s exceptional leadership, AirAsia has evolved into an immensely successful and widely recognized brand in the region,

“With over 22 years of innovation in air travel and digital services, the company is strategically positioned to strengthen its leadership in ASEAN and pursue growth in international markets,” he said.

According to him, this collaboration presents a distinctive opportunity for United States capital market investors to participate in the rapid expansion of ASEAN economies through a company that embodies the region’s diverse culture, energy, and emerging opportunities.

AirAsia X takes over Capital A’s aviation business