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Cushing drops BIL chairmanship

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Tuesday 29th May 2001

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Brierley Investments (NZSE: BIL) stalwart Sir Selwyn Cushing is standing down as company chairman pending the outcome of a proposal for Qantas to take a share in Air New Zealand (NZSE: AIRVA).

Earlier today Sir Selwyn announced he was standing down as Air NZ chairman for the same reason. He has not said whether he will take up the roles again if the proposal does not go ahead.

Although no offer has been finalised the prospect is that Qantas will take over Brierley Investments and Singapore Airlines stake in the New Zealand carrier.

Singapore Airlines will take over Ansett in Australia, currently owned by Air NZ.

The Singapore carrier was previously touted as a buyer for Ansett before Air New Zealand moved to full ownership last year after taking over News Corp's (NZSE: NCP) shareholding.

Possible prices for the purchases have not yet been revealed and its likely New Zealand's regulatory watchdog, the Commerce Commission, will want to take a long, hard look at the implications of a tie-up between Qantas and Air NZ.

Sir Selwyn will remain as a director of both New Zealand and BIL.

Air New Zealand shares responded positively to the possibility that it may divest its troublesome Ansett investment, with the A shares closing up 9 cents at $1.09 and the B shares up 14 cents at $1.51.

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