QAN 1.94% $4.55 qantas airways limited

Air NZ, Qantas equity stake deal due soon - medi

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    Wednesday 9 October 7:14 AM

    Air NZ, Qantas equity stake deal due soon - media

    WELLINGTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - A deal for Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) to take an equity stake in Air New Zealand AIR.NZ is expected to be announced at the New Zealand carrier's annual meeting later this month, media reported on Wednesday.

    The West Australian newspaper said unnamed airline sources in Auckland had confirmed discussions had been held with competition regulators in both countries on procedures to be followed once the deal was approved at board level.

    Analysts were expecting Qantas to take a 20-25 percent stake in 82 percent government owned Air New Zealand through the issue of new shares, the paper said.

    "Qantas would get two seats on the board while Air NZ's chairman, John Palmer, would be offered a seat at Qantas.

    "Both airlines are said to have agreed a broad framework for an agreement and only decisions relating to concerns of competition regulators are to be agreed," the paper reported.

    The deal was expected to be announced at Air New Zealand's annual meeting on October 29 in Auckland and would mean Air New Zealand would leave the Star Alliance group of airlines and join Qantas in the OneWorld grouping, according to the report.

    Air New Zealand said it had no comment on the report, while the a spokeswoman from New Zealand competition regulator was reported saying there had been no talks with the airlines since August.

    Both airlines have previously said talks on equity deals were ongoing but complex.

    Air NZ shares last traded three cents firmer at NZ$0.52, compared with a year high of NZ$0.76 in May and a low of NZ$0.27 in January.

    Qantas shares closed on Tuesday at a 12-month low of A$3.40, having touched a 2002 high of A$4.85 in May.
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