Saturday, 11 June 2016

Air New Zealand sells Virgin Australia shares

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA B777-3ZGER (CN 37943)                   (File Photo)

Air New Zealand has sold a 19.98% stake it holds in Virgin Australia to China’s Nanshan Group. This in effect offloads virtually most of Air New Zealand’s stake in Virgin Australia as reported in The Australian (10 June 2016). Under the deal, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, the shares have been sold at a value of AUD 0.33 per share for a total of AUD 232 million.
“We believe Nanshan Group will be a very strong, positive and complimentary shareholder for Virgin Australia, The sale will allow Air New Zealand to focus on its own growth opportunities, while still continuing its long-standing alliance with Virgin Australia on the trans-Tasman network.” stated Air New Zealand chairman Tony Carter.
The Nanshan deal is in addition to Virgin Australia’s recent alliance and share holding deal with China’s HNA (Hainan) Group which will see the Australian carrier offer services to China and Hong Kong in 2017. The HNA Group will have a 13% stake in Virgin Australia with shares purchase at AUD 0.30 per share.
Air New Zealand is expected to use the proceeds from the sale to pay a special dividend to its shareholders, which include the New Zealand government with a 53 per cent stake.
The Nanshan Group is privately owned company and has its own airline, Qingdao Airlines and a private jet business along with interests in sectors spanning aluminium, agriculture, education and property.


Qingdao Airlines is a start up Chinese airline that commenced operations on 26 April 2014 (2014-04-26). The airline is based at Qingdao Liuting International Airport. In September 2013 (2013-09), an order for five Airbus A320s and 18 A320neos was placed in a deal valued at USD2.5 billion; these aircraft will be delivered throughout 2016. Qingdao received its first aircraft, a 152-seater Airbus A320 in early April 2014. (2014-04.) As of August 2015, the airline's fleet consist of six Airbus A320s. Qingdao Airlines plans to expand its fleet to 60 aircraft by 2020.

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