Billionaire and former Qantas director James Packer thinks Qantas probably should have accepted an $11 billion takeover offer made by a consortium of private equity firms in 2006.
Packer was speaking on radio to host Eddie McGuire, and commented after being pressed to offer an opinion on the ailing airline. In 2006 Geoff Dixon was CEO, and Margaret Jackson — who was in favour of the offer — was chairwoman.
“History is going to show that from a purely economic perspective, for the shareholders at the time, Margaret was 100 per cent right,” Packer said.
“With the benefit of hindsight, and hindsight is easy, I think the bid would have been good for shareholders to take back then.
“Qantas is clearly a company not doing as well as it once was and it’s an important company for Australia,” he said.
This week Qantas had its hopes dashed when the government decided against offering the airline a guarantee, which could have seen its debt upgraded from junk status.
Legislation introduced by the government allowing increased foreign ownership in Qantas has cleared the Lower House. But the Senate is almost certain to vote it down.
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