If QF does get into NZs pants (which is highly unlikely), would the $40 million price tag for ZQ be money well spent? Doubt it very much!!
Qantas holds Ansett buyout key(www.nzherald.co.nz)
28.03.2000 - By ROB O'NEILL
Surging tourist numbers was the main attraction for the transtasman consortium of investors who have bought Ansett New Zealand from News Corp.
But news yesterday that Qantas has held talks with Brierley Investments over BIL's key Air New Zealand stake could upset the consortium's plans to reinvigorate New Zealand's troubled No 2 domestic air carrier.
Key to the deal is the continuation of inbound passenger referrals from Qantas to Ansett. If Qantas takes an equity stake in Air NZ that could undermine present referral and frequent-flyer arrangements on which much of the investors' planning is based.
However, even as the Brierley talks were revealed, Qantas deputy chief executive Geoff Dixon was telling the Australian media that strong commercial relationships would continue between Qantas and Ansett NZ. Others speculated that the Australian carrier could play a management role for the local carrier.
Ansett NZ chairman Ken Cowley announced the sale yesterday. It was arranged by merchant banker Clavell Capital and will result in a new name and livery.
The new owners include Mr Cowley, through his Australian clothing company R M Williams Holdings, with a 12.5 per cent stake. Kerry Stokes, the chairman of Australia's Seven Network, will also hold a stake through his interest in R M Williams.
Mr Cowley, a former Ansett Australia and News Corp executive, has been executive chairman of Ansett NZ for the past three years. Other investors include Alan Gibbs, Trevor Farmer, Sir Clifford Skeggs through Dunedin-based Skeggs Group, Sovereign Insurance founders Chris Coon and Ian Hendry, former Noel Leeming managing director Greg Lancaster and Richard Coon. David Belcher, Carl Peterson and Trevor Kerr of Clavell Capital also hold an interest.
Mr Cowley will be joined on the board by Mr Belcher, chief executive Kevin Doddrell, Mr Farmer, Sir Clifford and former KPMG partner Fred Watson.
No sale price or further details have been given, although speculation centres below $40 million, well down on the $85 million News Corp was originally said to expect. Ansett NZ has lost more than $200 million since it began operations in 1987.
News Corp has now exited the airline sector, having sold its 50 per cent stake in Ansett Australia to Air NZ last month.