Air New Zealand Has Confirmed It Has Increased Its Stake In Virgin Australia

Sir Richard Branson (R) and CEO John Borghetti (L) are seen exiting the A330 airplane during a rebranding launch. Photo: Getty/Don Arnold

Air New Zealand has confirmed it purchased another 3% of Virgin Australia, after 125 million of the Airline’s shares were traded yesterday, sparking media speculation it was the buyer.

The deal takes its stake to 22.99%, which could continue to grow, with Air New Zealand letting the market know this morning that if it can, it will consider buying an additional 3%.

Under Australian corporations law, 3% is the maximum Air New Zealand could buy through “creeping” provisions without making a takeover offer.

It also said the additional stake in the company is a tick-of-approval for Virgin boss John Borghetti and his team. Though the kiwi carrier advised it is not jostling for a takeover.

“Air New Zealand is not seeking a position on the board of Virgin Australia nor does it have the intention of obtaining control of Virgin Australia,” the company said in a statement to the market.

The agreement confirmed this morning is still subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Now read: Five Per Cent Of Virgin Australia Was Sold Yesterday And Air NZ Could Be The Biggest Shareholder Again

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