Thao said she’s planning for VietJet to hold its IPO as early as within the next three months, where it may sell as much as a 30 percent stake. The carrier is aiming to seek a valuation of more than $1 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the plan, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Thao, who founded the airline, owns 95 percent of the company, according to two people familiar with the shareholding structure."She’s not like other wealthy people -- she’s quite quiet in Vietnam actually,” said Vo Phuc Nguyen, a Ho Chi Minh City-based analyst at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. “She’s really successful with VietJet. From nothing, that airline now accounts for more than 30 percent of market share in Vietnam in just over the last few years." The valuation it’s seeking in the IPO will make it more valuable than South Korea’s Asiana Airlines Inc. or Finnair Oyj. VietJet's revenue tripled to 10.9 trillion dong ($488 million) last year while net income rose to almost 1 trillion dong, according to the company. Thao's budget airline flies to 47 locations in the country and across Asia, including Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore. She wants to make the company the "Emirates of Asia," modeling after the success of the Dubai-based carrier that’s the world’s biggest long-haul airline with flights to about 150 destinations.
Swamp LandThe billionaire also owns a 90 percent stake in Sovico Holdings, a closely-held company that has a 90 percent stake in Dragon City, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. She bought the site more than a decade ago in what was a swampy area in Vietnam’s economic hub, and the valuation is calculated using the equity-to-debt ratio of the project’s $1 billion investment value. Thao also has majority stakes in three resorts in Vietnam -- the Furama Resort Danang, the Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang and the An Lam Ninh Van Bay Villas, the people said. The properties are valued using current income, and occupancy and prevailing capitalization rates from real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield.