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Ansett Bidder In Talks Virgin Blue  
User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Posted (12 years 11 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1301 times:

MELBOURNE, Nov 5 Asia Pulse - Lang Corp Ltd has confirmed it has been in talks with parties including the Ansett administrators, several prospective bidding groups for Ansett and Virgin Blue.
The Sydney-based stevedoring operator was working on a proposal to acquire some Ansett assets in a deal with Virgin Blue, which would see Australia return to a two-airline system, according to the Financial Review newspaper.



"We refer to recent press reports involving the company, and airline interests, and, at the ASX request, confirm that the company has held discussions with a number of parties including the Ansett administrators, several prospective bidding groups and Virgin Blue Airlines," Lang Corp said in a statement.

"The company has not entered into any binding arrangements."

ACTU president Sharan Burrow yesterday said unions would negotiate with Lang Corp if it emerged as a serious contender to run Ansett.

Lang Corp, which owns Patrick Stevedores, took on maritime workers in the 1998 waterfront dispute which paralysed Australia's ports.

ASIA PULSE


15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1247 times:

I'd rather see Lew-fox get up and be successful and maintain 3 airlines.

But maybe that's wishful thinking...


User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3185 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1243 times:

Looks like any potential bidder is a little worried with Virgin Blue and the way they run things cheaply.
Yes I think there is a market for airline that runs the trunk routes the major regional centres with an overseas partner airlines.
QANTAS full coverage,
Ansett limited coverage.
VIRGIN BLUE cheap no frills.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1235 times:

Aussie

I'm with you to keep all 3 up, so will go with
the Lew/Fox deal, although I did read somewhere
the other day that unless the Fed govt give
Lew/Fox something like a $350mil grant they will
walk away from the deal, using taxpayers money
like this if it is true is wrong.

Wirraway


User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1228 times:

The latest statement by Brett Godfrey:

BRISBANE (Dow Jones)--Richard Branson's cut-price Australian airline Virgin Blue said Monday that talks with Lang Corp. are centered on the stevedoring and transport company possibly becoming a cornerstone investor in the airline.



Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires in an interview, Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said the talks aren't conditional on Lang succeeding in any move to acquire the terminals of distressed rival Ansett Airlines.

While an alliance with Lang, under which Lang brings with it Ansett's terminals, would allow Virgin Blue to make an early grab for much of Ansett's former 38% share of the Australian market, Godfrey said Virgin Blue has other options to consider.

"They (Lang) felt that if we wanted to double the size overnight we might need to move into those terminals," Godfrey said. "Now that is something we haven't said no to, but it may not be our first option.

"Our existing facilities are ample to enough to deal with our growth for the next 12-15 months at least," he said.


Ansett had 38% of the domestic market when it collapsed, with bigger rival Qantas Airways Ltd. (A.QAN) since boosting its 55% stake to as much as 90%.

Virgin Blue has about an 8% share of the market and is aiming to more than double that.


"A Dozen Parties Interested"

While Virgin Blue and Lang are "keen" to pursue talks, Godfrey said Lang is "far from being the only partner."

"We have spoken to Lang Corp., but we have a dozen parties interested in taking a cornerstone investment in the business," Godfrey said.

Any sale of Ansett's terminals to Lang would be dependent on the administrator failing to secure a buyer for the airline as a going concern.

Arthur Andersen is lobbying the government for a A$195 million grant to cover Ansett workers' entitlements as a way of attracting a buyer. Interested buyers include a buyout group including pilots and engineers, and a consortium led by high-profile Australian businessmen Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew.

Virgin Blue is seeking a cornerstone investor to take up to 49% of the airline, ahead of a plan to publicly list part of the company late next year. According to media reports, a listed Virgin Blue has been valued anywhere between A$500 million and A$1.6 billion.

A roadshow led by Godfrey and the airline's investment banker Goldman Sachs starts Tuesday.

Godfrey said Virgin Blue is on track to almost double its fleet to 20 aircraft from eleven by mid 2002.

Virgin Blue has four Boeing 737-800s being fitted out in Seattle, with the first of these expected to leave this week, followed by another next week and the other two in early December.

It also has an additional 10 new Boeing aircraft that will be introduced progressively next year, comprising four more 737-800s and six 737-700s.

"We'll be at 20 comfortably before the half year," Godfrey said.

The new aircraft include in-flight entertainment systems that suit them to Virgin Blue's planned new longer-haul routes to Perth, Darwin and eventually New Zealand.

Godfrey said the worldwide downturn in the aviation industry following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. has allowed Virgin Blue to negotiate cheap lease agreements.

"We've got deals that are about 30% down on where they were before September 11," Godfrey said.

-By Andrew Trounson; Dow Jones Newswires; 61-3-9614-2664; andrew.trounson@dowjones.com




User currently offlineAussie_ From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1766 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1195 times:

Well, it looks like Lew-Fox...

Tycoons close to Ansett coup

Geoff Easdown and James McCullough
06nov01

BUSINESS giants Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew were last night close to winning the race to buy Ansett.



The last hurdle in the way of the deal was the Federal Government's demands over how the $195 million ticket tax subsidy would be used to cover Ansett redundancies.

The airline's administrators Mark Mentha and Mark Korda want funds set aside to insure the successful bidder against claims for worker entitlements.

"The deal would go through tomorrow if that can be agreed on," well placed sources told The Courier-Mail last night.

Federal Government demands that the cash be repaid from the sale of the Ansett assets has sparked claims that the Government was out of line and double dipping.

Mr Korda and Mr Mentha were last night juggling two deals that would almost certainly decide Ansett's future.

The choice they must make is to sell to the Fox-Lew group which would run the carrier in a management deal with Singapore Airlines, or liquidate the airline and dispose of major terminal operations to anti-union stevedores, Lang Corporation.

A spokesman for Federal Transport Minister John Anderson said that the proposal for the tax to be used as a contingent liability to protect the buyer had not been put to the Government.

The spokesman said any deal would be looked at but using the $195 million to protect the 4000 workers likely to transfer in a Fox-Lew buyout would be well above sums for eight weeks pay, the industry standard.

ACTU president Sharan Burrow yesterday accused Mr Anderson of destroying Ansett's chance of survival by using its assets to pay off the worker entitlements.

"Ansett mark two will not fly because you want part of the assets," she said in a footpath confrontation with Mr Anderson in Gladstone.

The remnants of Ansett were put up for sale when banks and institutions halted loans to airlines because of the downturn in aviation stocks after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Chris Corrigan's Lang Corporation and Virgin Blue both confirmed yesterday they were putting a proposal together if the administrators took the option to carve up Ansett.

"The company has held discussions with a number of parties including the Ansett administrators, several prospective bidding groups and Virgin Blue Airlines, " Lang Corporation said in a statement to the stock exchange. "The company has not entered into any binding arrangements."

Mr Corrigan, a tough negotiator, leapt into the public spotlight in 1998 when Patrick Stevedores, owned by Lang, took on maritime workers in the waterfront dispute.

A merchant banker, Mr Corrigan cut his teeth as the managing director of BT Australia Ltd before being lured to Sir Ron Brierley's empire in the late 1980s and then leaving to form his Jamison Equity group.

Lang Corp has set its sights on expansion in the transport sector so parts of the Ansett empire are a logical fit.



User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1190 times:

Today's Age says that an ANstaff and SQ combination would be the best to keep the Ansett name in the skies.

Apparently ANstaff now have the funds.

Cheers,

Justin


User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9181 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1172 times:

I certainly hope either Lufthansa or AN Staff takes over Ansett....

ANstaff has already stated the importance of International Routes and they are trying their VERY BEST to retain everything, including the B 747s, as well as international routes.



User currently offlineIndianicWorld From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 2983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

ANstaff wouldnt know anything about running the airline, all they are about to do is start it up again as the old carrier, with the old mistakes on fleet types. The airline is overstaffed and has too many aircraft types, and they want to keep too many of both. A Airbus fleet is best used, so the Fox-Lew bid is the only way to go.

User currently offlineRmm From Australia, joined Feb 2001, 524 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1161 times:

Wirraway,
The article you speak of was in the AFR about 10 days ago. Not only did Fox
want a $350 mil grant off the federal govt, he also wanted tax concessions. On top of this he wanted money and tax relief off all state govt's if AN2 flew to their
respectitive states. The article went on to state that Fox/Lew would not part
with any of their own money until next June.

If todays media reports of a likely Fox deal are true then the govt's must of
given into his demands. Something doesn't add up here, Andersen's have to
go to court to try and secure $195 mil from the govt but it appears there throwing money to Fox/Lew.

Will be interesting to see if no deal is signed before the election on Saturday
and a change of govt takes place.

Rmm


User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1157 times:

Hey guys,

I am reading all sorts of 'weird' stuff. Howard reckons he's going to stump up the money from the levy and that the unions are talking it up because of the election.

As for Lange + DJ. Yikes! What a nightmare for the Australian consumer + AN workers.

They had better do something fast. Does anyone know if SQ have been giving their techinical assistance yet?

If QF are the only 'business' fliers left, I wonder what nasty little cut-backs they will have in store for business travellers? With nothing to compete with perhaps we can expect current economy product being slapped up in Biz? And the economy product going the way of American style?

UA:

VH-ANA is to leave our shores soon - Friday I think.
**sad**


Cheers,

Michael


User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9181 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 1 day ago) and read 1136 times:

Mx5_boy:

Don't feel too bad!  Smile Ansett can always lease B 747-400s again once they are ready too.....  Smile

Perhaps they will lease more from Singapore Airlines in the future.......... Only time can tell.

I am quite confident though.

Des


User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (12 years 11 months 22 hours ago) and read 1127 times:

MX-5

Just a curly one for you. SQ are back negotiating on their own behalf just quietly. It appears the "management" contacts with other potential operators have gone a bit soft, and SQ are still very keen to keep some control. What is even more frightening is with whom DJ is currently negotiating to take a cornerstone equity position. Branson could be out of DJ in a little over 18 months - with a tidy profit - and still making money off the "Virgin" franchise.

United.... forget about Lufthansa. They are not bidding, have no-one even talking to the two marks, and besides their own balance sheet is just looking a little shaky at the moment.

Oz777


User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 1121 times:

Oz777,

You just love throwing me curlies don't you? Nothing at all surprises me, particularly SQ still very much in the equation (as I knew they would be - I suspect they would have no problem snapping AN up - merely waiting to be absolved of creditor responsibility). They need AN badly as does star.

Are you referring to DJ talking to Fox / Lew, ANstaff, SQ or Lange? Each has it's own sinister implications.

Obviously the recent media reports of Lange taking an equity stake in DJ and snatching the AN terminals in a fire sale are a bit on the nose.

One thing I do know is the media is being used in many instances to 'beat up' everything about the AN bid - and much of it is smoke.

Apparently the ANstaff bid has changed considerably from it's original proposal and has secured finance / management for a new AN. Someone is endorsing their business plan, and they apparently have around 40% gurantees of previous business clientel to put bums on seats.

Imagine DJ premium? The horror!! (Poor old GW lounge turned into the DingoBlue club or such - they would probably keep the current vending machines...lol)

Cheers,

mb


User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (12 years 11 months 11 hours ago) and read 1114 times:

I accidentally posted my ANstaff post on the 762 thread, but I was wondering, what "changes" to the bid have occurred?

Cheers,

Justin


User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 11 months 9 hours ago) and read 1095 times:

Justin,

All I know is that they have significantly changed their business approach. Whatever that means is anybodies guess, but I should imagine it's the same as before but with a leaner operation. They have been in talks with credible people as far as news reports go.


Oz777,

Shite mate. It just struck me like a bolt out of the blue.

Cheers,

mb


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