23 December 2006

Takeover bid for Qantas

Qantas is currently the subject of an A$5.60 per share (A$11.1bn) takeover bid from Airline Partners Australia made on 13 December 2006 that, if successful, would see the company delisted from the stock exchange.

Because of the way air services agreements work, international airlines generally need to take care that they remain "substantially owned and effectively controlled" by nationals of the country designating the airline, in this case Australia. With Qantas the protection to ensure that this remains the case can be found in the Qantas Sale Act 1992 (see in particular section 7), which inter alia requires that two thirds of the airline's board of directors is made up of Australian nationals. Two thirds of the Airline Partners Australia board will also be Australian nationals.

The bidders note that foreign ownership of Qantas would actually decline from 46% to 40% if their bid is successful.

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