Airline Finance News - Asia / Pacific.

 
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Jan 14, 2008

Air China, China National Aviation Corporation

Air China parent China National Aviation Holding is preparing its own bid for China Eastern Airlines following the Tuesday rejection of the latter's stake sale deal with Singapore Airlines but is doing so with an eye toward cooperation rather than acquisition. The source also stated that Cathay Pacific Airways will join CNAC in its bid while stressing that Air China's interest in its rival is limited to strategic cooperation and that a merger is not in the offing. According to a CNAC statement released over the weekend, it intends to purchase a no-more-than-30% stake in China Eastern for at least HK$5 ($0.64) per share, significantly higher than the HK$3.80 offered by Singapore Airlines. CNAC spokesperson Chu Chengping confirmed yesterday that the company will keep its word and submit its bid to the China Eastern board within two weeks. Jan 11, 2008

Air China, China National Aviation Corporation

Merrill Lynch Securities said China Eastern "possibly will explore other possibilities of conducting cooperation with Singapore Airlines and won't submit CNAC's bid to its minority shareholders for approval unless the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, the biggest state stakeholders of Air China and China Eastern Airlines, exerts pressure on China Eastern to do so." It added that "Singapore may not raise its per-share price for China Eastern but possibly will reduce its proposed stake." Jan 11, 2008

Air China, China National Aviation Corporation

Air China To Make China Eastern Offer Soon. The parent company of Air China is expected to make a proposal within two weeks to buy a stake in China Eastern Airlines, Chinese media reported on Thursday Jan. 10. On Tuesday, China Eastern's minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted down a rival proposal for Singapore Airlines and Singaporean investment agency Temasek to buy 24 percent of China Eastern for USD$920 million. Two official Chinese newspapers, both citing an Air China executive, reported that Air China would "keep its promise" to purchase Hong Kong-listed shares of China Eastern at a price no less than HKD$5 apiece. If successful, Air China would also unite the business operation of its international flights with China Eastern as well as its cargo business, the China Securities Journal reported without giving details. But the Air China executive also told the China Securities Journal that the Beijing-based airline did not aim to acquire or merge with China Eastern but expected to team up with the smaller rival to jointly develop business. Jan 10, 2008

Air China, China National Aviation Corporation

The parent company of Air China will submit a proposal to China Eastern to buy into the Shanghai-based airline company within two weeks, the Shanghai Securities News reported, without providing further details. But the official China Securities Journal reported that Air China may propose that the two Chinese airlines swap some of their stock as part of the deal. The Singapore Airlines and Temasek deal, announced in September, had received Chinese government approval and was meant to be a key part of China's efforts to modernize its aviation industry by bringing in foreign expertise and branding. The shareholders' rejection was widely expected after the parent of Air China had earlier said it was prepared within two weeks of the shareholder meeting to make a higher bid. Air China's partner Cathay Pacific, a rival of Singapore Airlines, said it would consider joining such a bid. Jan 10, 2008

Air China, China National Aviation Corporation

Air China's parent, China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), has said it will submit a rival offer for China Eastern within two weeks. The battle over an airline that has made losses in three of the past five years underscores the lure of an industry dominated by three players but which is growing at more than 16 percent a year ahead of this summer's Beijing Olympic Games. CNAC, which owns 3.9 percent of China Eastern but which has more than 12 percent of its Hong Kong stock, had argued for weeks that the sale to Singapore was being done on the cheap -- a perennial worry among domestic investors fearing a fire-sale of Chinese assets to foreign firms. Jan 8, 2008

Air China, China National Aviation Corporation

Air China has called Singapore Airlines' offer too cheap, unfair and demanded sweetened terms. Both Singapore Air and China Eastern have countered by saying the deal --...

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