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Qantas bidder says it has 33 percent of shares _ not enough, just 1 day before deadline

Qantas bidder says it has 33 percent of shares _ not enough, just 1 day before deadline

The group bidding 10.8 billion Australian dollars (US$8.9 billion; euro6.55 billion) to buy Qantas Airways said Thursday it holds almost 33 percent of the airline's shares _ well shy of the 70 percent needed, just a day before the offer expires.
Airline Partners Australia, led by Australia's Macquarie Bank and the Texas Pacific Group, said in a statement the level of acceptances for its A$5.45-a-share offer launched Dec. 14 had risen to 32.96 percent from the 25.94 percent announced on April 26.
The bid is due to expire Friday at 7 p.m. Sydney time (0900 GMT).
The group's current stake is still below the 70 percent needed for its bid to succeed. The consortium must also reach the 50 percent threshold required by the Friday deadline for the offer to be automatically extended a further two weeks under local takeover laws.
The group said on Monday its offer will lapse if the threshold is not reached _ spelling the immediate end of the deal, which would be one of Australia's largest corporate takeovers if it succeeds.
The group has declared the bid is final, that it will not be extended or increased, and that it is conditional on acceptance by 70 percent of shareholders.