Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Takeover bid for Qantas too low, says key investor

Takeover bid for Qantas too low, says key investor

A proposed 11.1 billion Australian dollar (US$9.2 billion) takeover bid for Australian airline Qantas was too low and failed to take into account recently improved market conditions, a key investor said yesterday.
Balanced Equity Management, which holds about 4.0 percent of the profitable airline, confirmed it would not accept the current bid of 5.45 dollars per share offered by private equity consortium Airline Partners Australia (APA).
And it said the offer from APA, which includes Macquarie Bank Ltd, Allco Finance Group Ltd and Allco Equity Partners Ltd, U.S. private equity giant Texas Pacific Group and Canada's Onex Group, substantially undervalued the airline.
"We are committed not to accept the bid," managing director Andrew Sisson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Sisson said the Australia stock market had climbed significantly since the consortium first made its bid in December, while the airline's profit estimates for 2007-08 had jumped by 36 percent.
"At the beginning, we were fairly close to the price we thought was reasonable," he said.
"Things that have happened since then mean we are a long way from the price.
"In fact, we think it (Qantas) represents one of the better value stocks in the market at the moment, so we would be a buyer rather than a seller."
If APA were to add another dollar to the price per share, the offer would be "in the right ball park," he added.
Qantas' share price has increased by more than 20 percent since the bid was launched. Other airlines have also soared, with budget carrier Virgin Blue enjoying a 30 percent rise over the same period and shares in Air New Zealand almost doubling.
Sisson said Qantas would continue to be a good value stock even if the bid failed, despite warnings from the consortium that the share price would drop if the offer did not proceed.
The consortium must gain 70 percent of shareholder acceptance by May 4 to take control.
APA had previously set a minimum of 90 percent shareholder acceptance for its bid, which has the support of the Qantas board, but lowered its acceptance level after the bid ran into turbulence.
Sisson said he expected the consortium to garner at least 50 percent of shareholder acceptances. Figures released Tuesday showed that APA acceptances remained stalled at 27.8 percent.


Updated : 2021-04-23 05:45 GMT+08:00