AIR NEW ZEALAND BUYS UP CHUNK OF VIRGIN BLUE

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 20, 2011 08:04

AIR NEW ZEALAND BUYS UP CHUNK OF VIRGIN BLUE

Air New Zealand (ANZ) has been buying up Virgin Blue shares in a bid to get to the maximum 14.99% ownership that would take the airline to its limit of 49% foreign ownership. The problem for ANZ is that it does not seem to have finalised the purchase(s) of the share block and now that the story is out the shares are liable to rise. This service got the news through contacts at Virgin Group so one can assume that there is a better than 50/50 chance that they are divesting its holding in the Australian carrier. ANZ for its part has confirmed to the NZ and Australian exchanges that it has become a “substantial shareholder” in the Australian-based airline it is forming a trans-Tasman alliance with. This only confirms that ANZ holds up to or more than 5%, but they have made it clear that they are after the maximum 14.99% having obtained Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the same.

Virgin Group, the United Kingdom-based company founded by Sir Richard Branson, has a 26% shareholding in Virgin Blue.

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe confirmed that his airline has no intention of making a takeover bid for Virgin Blue.

Make sure you look out for the full announcement to the exchanges at the opening tomorrow (later today in the West), it is at this time unclear how the purchase(s) are being funded.

With oil on the rise I think we will all agree that any consolidation news is good news, but airlines taking strategic holdings in others in an uncertain world coming out of recession can be dangerous. We all remember Swiss of course. This is not on that scale but it is going on all too much at this time across the globe and does smack of putting all ones eggs in one basket.

London major continues to push for easy option but Willie Walsh stands firm.

On Monday Boris Johnson mayor of London met with Willie Walsh to yet again tout his idea for a new London airport. Willie Walsh to his credit stood firm and reiterated that a third runway at Heathrow was what BA in particular wanted. The simple fact is that the majority of the UK and international travelling public also want a third runway, obviously those who do not live in the area where the runway will be or where the aircraft flight paths will go. As usual in the UK at this time the minority have the loudest voice. Make no mistake that the very same minority will also say no to increased taxes to pay for the proposed new airport and transport connections to the same, a cost that will rival the London Olympics in scale. At the end of the day totally mad politics and planning laws will prevent logical action and see Heathrow continue running at 98% capacity or more. At the same time we should also remember that BAA do a wonderful job on a daily basis, a job that no other airport operator in the world has ever been tested against. Many should remember this.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 20, 2011 08:04
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