Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Who wants to buy Virgin Blue?

Old 25th Oct 2007, 11:05
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Who wants to buy Virgin Blue?

Who wants to buy Virgin Blue?
Ben Sandilands on writes:

The chances of something much bigger than a change in control of Virgin Blue occurring by year’s end are rising after its founding CEO Brett Godfrey told reporters at yesterday’s AGM that he wouldn’t stick around under the"‘wrong" owners.

Toll Holdings has 62 per cent of VBA. And it has been candid for some time about not being long term if the right price comes along. But most of the questions about who might provide the right price are being asked of the wrong suspects.

In recent days both Singapore Airlines and Emirates have reaffirmed their disinterest. Yet no one has been able to get a response so far from Temasek Holdings, the superannuation investment arm of the Singapore Government, which owns 54 per cent of Singapore Airlines, 11 per cent of Tiger Airways (in turn 49 per cent owned by Singapore Airlines) and for that matter 19 per cent of Jetstar Asia, which is almost half owned by Qantas.

Temasek is a sector investor, and somewhat like the late Sir Peter Abeles with trucking companies, appears unconcerned at owning all or part of competing companies that may or may not go for each other’s throats as long as the outcomes look good.

Similarly, the entities to keep in view in Dubai include Dubai World, the holding company for the business and project portfolio of the UAE, or perhaps even more sharply focus on its Istithmar division, which specialises in higher risk opportunities including aerospace services and even airlines.

Dubai World and Temasek have an enormous advantage over Emirates or Singapore Airlines. Because they aren’t airlines they are allowed to own up to 100 per cent of a domestic Australian airline and 49.9 per cent of any international services it might operate.

And there is another opportunity for airline investment and rationalisation in this region which has long taunted Qantas (and once burned Singapore Airlines for more than $700 million) in the form of Air New Zealand, which is well run, profitable, and majority owned by the New Zealand government, which like Toll, doesn’t see itself as a long term airline investor.

The effective joint ownership or control of Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue (and its own NZ subsidiary Pacific Blue) mightn’t pass the regulatory hurdles over which Qantas stumbled when it went for the Kiwi carrier, but it is awfully tempting in airline terms. And there is the outside chance, which is driving some of the rumours, that Air New Zealand might even persuade Wellington that it should buy the Toll stake.

Finally there is Richard Branson, who is sitting on 26 per cent of VBA, has signed up for 20 per cent of AirAsiaX, and is disagreeing with Singapore Airlines over the price at which he might buy back the 49 per cent of Virgin Atlantic he sold it at the end of 1999.

There are doubts as to whether Branson has the money or inclination to buy back full ownership of Virgin Atlantic plus take out Toll, but it would be rash to second guess what he might do, including sell or enlarge his stake, as a potential new controlling stakeholder for Virgin Blue comes out of the shadows.

Place your bets. Who would be the best owner as far as future employment prospects are concerned?
Thylacine is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2007, 13:48
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CFMEU maybe... after all, if VB went under there would be plenty of jobs as brickies labourers
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 19:28
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Air New Zealand, Ouch
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 20:00
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Don't get Buster started...
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 22:33
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Flight Me -

That took guts I have a cheeky smile though....
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Old 25th Oct 2007, 23:31
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Surely Qantas would not object to Air New Zealand buying into DJ.

The removal of DJ as competion would be a cert.

Does Helen know she is in for another bail out?
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 10:16
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On the topic of VB, anyone who had interviews in Sept/Oct for Embraer heard yes or no yet............anyone.........
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 13:00
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Branson won't buy in again. Unless he can buy it for a song & sell it at a huge mark up.

ANZ? The commercial branch of the RNZAF? I doubt it!

SQ? Tiger will do their plans justice I reckon.

My inside sources have indicated that the letters WGAF will go a long way in resolving this.....
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 22:07
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On the topic of VB, anyone who had interviews in Sept/Oct for Embraer heard yes or no yet............anyone.........
A colleague has the nod...
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 22:27
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Know of at least 2 Easterns pilots that have a nod but no start dates and several being reference checked at this moment.
Best of British to all.
More interviews next month! Yippee!

See youse!
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 01:33
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Surely the Aust Govt wouldn't let ANZ anywhere near VB. There are plenty of staff at DJ who remember what happened last time.

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Old 27th Oct 2007, 03:06
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On the other hand Air NZ did buy into Ansett Australia once upon a time. Things are about to get very gnarly in the NZ market with DJ's launch and someone is going to fall over.

Be rather amusing if Air NZ became a white knight investor for DJ.
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 04:26
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Temasek and Thailand

Temasek, the Singapore government owned investment company, triggered the military COUP in Thailand when they got a Thai passport holder who has lived in Malaysia for 40 years to buy the equivalent of telstra from the Thai Prime minister, Thaksin. Thaksin is now awaiting extradition from UK to face very serious fraud charges......will the Prime Minister of Australia allow this Singapore government owned entity to do business dealings of the same magnitude in Australia when they have a track record like what happened in Thailand ????????

Surely they knew they were breaking the Thai Corporte Laws!!
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 06:18
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Aha! Someone finally gets it.

Well done, Emu!

You've put your finger on the common thread between so many different, apparently isolated incidents.

I watched with horror as AN imploded. Despite living here in NZ, I had many friends from an earlier life who lost their jobs in that fiasco. I was just as embarrassed as a knee-jerk anti-Kiwi flavour developed here on PPRuNe, even among those with whom I had debated in a comradely manner previously. (That's you Buster! )

I offer to the audience that NZ were not the incompetent interlopers that it has suited others to portray them.

Despite appearances at the time, I'm firmly of the opinion that NZ/AN could have, should have, worked. I hold that opinion to this day, and feel that an NZ/DJ alliance would not only be a superb option for both airlines, but would give a certain degree of closure to personalities who fought hard on the way down. (GT was a dad at my daughters' school. No- one deserves to have the lights put out the way he had. I hear he's lost 20-odd kilos recently: great to hear! Even better that he may now have the sweetest of all opportunities: the one to say:'I told you so'.)

I believe that both airlines were victims of a Singapore-centric d!ck size competition.

At the time of NZ's acquisition of AN, NZ's largest shareholder was Brierley Investments, an originally-NZ but by that time Singapore-domiciled company. Brierley's overwhelming shareholder was one Temasek investments. That's right, the same Temasek who owned SQ, and who were sniffing around AN effectively delayed the implementation of NZ's recovery plan for AN.

Why? As I observed before, It all comes down to d!ck size; and these guys were playing a game where the airlines concerned weren't actually the issue!

As I said, what then eventuated at the airlines was a cross between Greek tragedy and French farce. I copped attitude which not only did I not deserve, but neither did my airline or country. By the same token, I can empathise with the raw nerves which AN's demise left among its 'family'.

The final indignity was that New Zealand's Labour government, who would seek to portray themselves as internationalists, took the isolationist option to rescue only NZ and not AN. Six years after the events in question, both NZ and AN (now in its DJ embodiment) are financially healthy, but without the strategic upside that a unitary organisation would have afforded. (Watch this space as the international industry comes to town.)

I don't profess to have a crystal ball; but I do know that history offers us lessons which, if left unheeded, we are doomed to repeat.

I studied Latin for six years: my last reading was Aeneid II - the fall of Troy. In that book, a Trojan looks askance at the Horse which has been left behind and says:'Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes'.

In the context of Australasia's aviation market, Laocoon's message could not be more apposite: I mistrust the Singaporeans, even when they bring us gifts.
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Old 27th Oct 2007, 07:46
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even among those with whom I had debated in a comradely manner previously. (That's you Buster! )
Whackety-whack, whack, whack!!!

Hmmm...probably a little true, but when I vented, it was mostly at the "suits" that couldn't even organise a queue at Centrelink! (Or, so I thought....)
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 02:29
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Friendly Pelican
You seen fixed on the dick size Frendly Pelican, you sure your not hiding the fact that you have a problem with your size?

Other than that - quite an argumentative post on teh AN - NZ debacle, Tesmark should have brough into AN instead of NX
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 03:35
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If his throwing money around is anything to go by, perhaps John Howard may make an offer!!
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 10:09
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Oh dear me ,I didn't know that Stan Howard owned Virgin and they needed bailing out.
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Old 5th Nov 2007, 23:45
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Embraer Start Dates

I know of five guys. All interviewed in September. Three on the Embraer starting in feb and the other two starting very soon on the 737 (Ansett!)
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Old 10th Nov 2007, 23:40
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With Tiger starting soon, what is the future for DJ?

The Tiger market share has to come from somewhere, and Tiger owners have deep pockets; Qf/Jetstar have the next deepest, and DJ not very deep, so something has to give.

It's unfortunate but therre is going to be some pain not too far down the track for some employees, and maybe Dj owners are looking desperately to unload before the price sags.
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