View Full Version : The Dixon lie continues...

5th Jul 2007, 21:35
QANTAS has taken two months to respond to an "urgent" Federal Government request to declare whether the level of foreign shareholding in the airline had breached the 49 per cent cap enforceable under Australian law.

The carrier yesterday announced its level of foreign ownership was 44.5 per cent.

"Foreign shareholding is trending down and we are confident that our share register is in compliance with the Qantas Sale Act," Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said.

But in the biggest hint Qantas had breached the cap before the collapse of the Airline Partners Australia takeover bid in early May, the airline said a previous reconciliation released on May 30 showed foreign ownership was "just below 50 per cent".

But in the May 30 statement Mr Dixon said he "believed" the foreign ownership was below 49 per cent.

A Qantas spokesman declined to say whether "just below 50 per cent" meant it was over 49 per cent. "There's nothing to add to either of those statements," the spokesman said.

Fuelling suspicions Qantas was around 60 per cent foreign owned at the time of the APA bid - when dozens of offshore hedge funds piled into the stock - Qantas has also declined to comment on its levels of ownership before May 30. Qantas's share registry, Link Market Services, declined to say how long it would take to undertake a reconciliation of a company's shareholder base.

Despite having a "media inquiries" phone number listed on its website, a spokesman who answered the phone said Link Market did not comment to the media.

Meanwhile, Qantas shares surged 13c to $5.56 yesterday after releasing strong traffic statistics that appeared to confirm that an ambiguously worded statement put out by the airline last week was indeed a profit upgrade.

The airline reported its overall load factors (seats filled) in May rose 2.1 per cent to 74 per cent on the previous 12 months. Passengers numbers were up 7.7 per cent. Qantas's international division was the strongest performer with loads up 3.4 per cent and yields (average fares) up 8.4 per cent. Aside from Qantas being aided by the strong Australian dollar, which is lowering capital costs and fuelling outbound travel, the rise in yields was further amplified with the price of oil being lower than in the previous May.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services Mark Vaile welcomed the Qantas announcement on ownership.

"I expect Qantas to comply at all times with these requirements," Mr Vaile said. "The Act plays an essential role in ensuring that Qantas remains Australian-based and under Australian control."

"I have asked the chairman [Margaret Jackson] to look at putting in place arrangements that will enable them to monitor the levels of foreign ownership in a more timely manner

5th Jul 2007, 23:49
And who is surprised?

There is nothing in any legislation, I don't think, which states that a CEO must be a fundamentally honest and straight-talking person. I think most financial commentators and analysts became well aware of certain aspects of Dixon's (and others) personality during the APA debacle.

6th Jul 2007, 00:34
i reckon the part that makes me laugh is when the company has a shot at the unions and it has taken them 2 months to answer a question about the qantas act which is law.
if someone else kept darth waiting 2 months he would hit the roof.

6th Jul 2007, 06:23
Well, in my humble opinion, it would seem that Geoff Dixon has misled shareholders by withholding information in the recent take over bid. I understand that is an offence in the States nowadays. It doesn't seem to be here. :=

Buster Hyman
6th Jul 2007, 07:00
It seems QF management are suffering from Telstra syndrome. The world seemingly revolves around them & not vice versa.

I reckon they are believing their own press and feel untouchable well, the loftier the position, the harder is the fall.

:= (One swinging finger from me!)

8th Jul 2007, 06:16
My favourite part of "Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room" is when the big cheeses are led off in handcuffs.

I reckon you could sell tickets for a good price to see a similar scenario play out at the Qantas building. . . . .

max autobrakes
11th Jul 2007, 08:54
Does that mean that Qantas and Telstra management are the New Vatican and all the unions fighting them are heretical Galileo's?

11th Jul 2007, 09:41
Food for thought... If foreign ownership level was 60% when the acceptances closed.. Would this have rendered the acceptance invalid?!?

Buster Hyman
11th Jul 2007, 12:21
Crikey Max! Don't go all "Spanish Inquisition" on me!:}

I prefer the Star Wars analogy. Telstra is Jabba the Hut (Huuuuge), QF is Darth Vader (Once noble, now strayed to the dark side), the Unions are Boba Fett (Hired guns that ultimately look after themselves), Ansett was Dantooine (Blown apart by the Empire) and Godfrey, Joyce etc all think they are Luke Skywalker when really, they're just Jawas.