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Government sell down is an opportunity for Air NZ

Thursday 27th January 2011 1 Comment

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The signalled selldown of the New Zealand government's stake in Air New Zealand could provide an opportunity for a partner airline to invest, says the airline's chairman.

In the speech to an Auckland business audience Prime Minister John Key said power companies Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis and coal company Solid Energy were all being looked at for partial sale - up to 49%, and advice was also being sought on reducing Crown shares in Air New Zealand from 75% to 51%.

Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer said the company would now work with Treasury to "see both where the value opportunity might be for the Crown as an owner and whether there are issues around the construct of our share register as we develop alliances".

Air NZ has formed an alliance with Australia's Virgin Blue and last week move to take a 14.99% holding in the airline to cement the alliance.

Palmer declined to talk about airlines which might be interested in investing in Air NZ.

As Air NZ sought to build a wider global alliance network there would be opportunities to "position" the company's share register. The airline did not currently have such an opportunity in mind.



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Comments from our readers

On 28 January 2011 at 4:50 pm Christopher said:
Well Mr Palmer might think he has the answer on this one but the intention is that NZer's get first dibs on any share sales and there has to be some construct around minimum holding periods and a minimum investment by the super fund. Don't call Treasury Mr Palmer, they'll call you.
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