Flyer points re­main

Buy-up won’t af­fect pro­grams

Townsville Bulletin - - Business -

THE con­sor­tium propos­ing to buy Qan­tas Air­ways Ltd for $11.1 bil­lion says the trans­ac­tion will have no ef­fect on the air­line’s fre­quent flyer pro­gram.

The Air­line Part­ners Aus­tralia (APA) group, led by Mac­quarie Bank Ltd and US private eq­uity firm Texas Pa­cific Group, also re­peated that it had no plans to break up Qan­tas.

Since the takeover — which has been rec­om­mended by the Qan­tas board — was an­nounced in mid-De­cem­ber there has been spec­u­la­tion that the pro­gram could be sold off to new man­agers for about $2 bil­lion.

That could mean un­used points might be reval­ued, disad­van­tag­ing cur­rent fre­quent fly­ers.

APA said in a let­ter to Qan­tas share­hold­ers that its deal would have no ef­fect on the pro­gram and high­lighted its sup­port for the air­line’s in­vest­ment pro­gram.

‘‘Con­trary to re­cent com­ments by the me­dia, this trans­ac­tion will have no im­pact on the Qan­tas Fre­quent Flyer Pro­gram,’’ APA said.

‘‘Our plans for Qan­tas in­clude sup­port­ing a $10 bil­lion cap­i­tal in­vest­ment pro­gram over the next five years, in­clud­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of more than 70 new planes, se­cur­ing a 40 per cent in­crease in air­line ca­pac­ity, and en­sur­ing im­proved cus­tomer ser­vice.’’

It stressed that its plan ‘does not in­volve a breakup of the air­line, cuts to re­gional ser­vices or the move­ment of main­te­nance op­er­a­tions off­shore’.

APA is of­fer­ing share­hold­ers $5.60 per Qan­tas share, valu­ing the car­rier at $11.1 bil­lion.

Qan­tas shares were trad­ing at $5.22 yes­ter­day.

In a let­ter to share­hold­ers yes­ter­day, Qan­tas chair­man Mar­garet Jack­son said the air­line had re­viewed al­ter­na­tives to the APA of­fer and con­cluded that it was the best avail­able to max­imise share­holder value.

‘‘Your direc­tors be­lieve the pro­posal pro­vides an at­trac­tive pre­mium and an out­stand­ing op­por­tu­nity for you to re­alise sig­nific a n t v a l u e f o r y o u r shares,’’ she wrote.

APA in­cludes Aus­tralian in­vest­ment firms Allco Eq­uity Part­ners and Allco Fi­nance Group, as well as Cana­dian buy­out group Onex.

Share­hold­ers will re­ceive the bid­der’s and tar­get’s state­ments in Fe­bru­ary.

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