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Ryanair Chairman Joins Ansett Mk II Consortium

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Ryanair Chairman Joins Ansett Mk II Consortium

Old 18th Dec 2001, 18:21
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Post Ryanair Chairman Joins Ansett Mk II Consortium

AN Update
A news report for Ansett Australia employees
AN Update 035
17 December 2001

Message From Mark Mentha

The following media announcement just released by the Tesna Consortium is another terrific step in the right direction for the “all new” Ansett as we head towards the launch date of 1 February 2002.

INVESTMENT PARTNER JOINS LEW, FOX: Mr Solomon Lew and Mr Lindsay Fox announced today that a heads of agreement had been signed with Air Partners III Australia, LLC ('Air Partners') to become an equity partner in Tesna Holdings Pty Ltd ('Tesna').

Tesna will become the new owner of Ansett from 31 January, 2002 following completion of the sale agreement with the Ansett Administrators for the mainline airline assets of the Ansett group.

The key principals of Air Partners include Mr David Bonderman and Mr Bill Franke. Mr Bonderman is the Chairman of Ryanair and a Director of Continental Airlines. Mr Franke was CEO of America West Airlines from 1993 to August 2001 and Chairman of Airplanes Group plc, a large aircraft finance entity.

Messrs Lew and Fox said "The Air Partners team brings to Tesna and Ansett significant and successful airline and aircraft finance experience that includes investments in Continental Airlines, America West Airlines, Ryanair and the aircraft finance company AerFi, plc (formerly GPA, plc)".

"The common theme in their airline related investments is an active and direct involvement to achieve significant improvement in operating and financial performance and business turnaround. Ryanair, for example, has been transformed from a niche operator to become the second largest airline by market capitalisation in Europe, with a value higher than British Airways", they said.

Mr Bonderman said, "We believe Ansett represents a unique circumstance where we, working with committed local partners, can restore and build value."

Mr Franke said, "Having looked first hand at Ansett and the overall market in Australia, I am convinced Ansett can be restored to being a great airline, and a great business, of which employees and the travelling public can be proud."

Messrs. Lew and Fox said, "Air Partners will contribute human resources, intellectual and financial capital and an international network of industry relationships to Ansett. Mr Franke, as Air Partners' managing member, will be primarily responsible for the investment and will commit substantial time. He has been in Melbourne again this week and we will together pursue as a priority the selection of key senior management which we hope to be able to announce in the near future."

"While we actively explored a number of alternative arrangements to manage and operate Ansett we believe the track record of Air Partners' principals in building strong management teams and actively managing their airline investments is the preferred outcome."

The terms at Air Partners' investment in Ansett are confidential, however Messrs Lew and Fox, while sharing management control, will retain majority ownership and will be Co-Chairmen after 31 January.

The Air Partners investment is subject to approval by the Foreign investment Review Board.
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