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Multi-billion dollar Qantas bid revived

business Updated: May 05, 2007 09:30 IST
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An apparently doomed multi-billion dollar take over offer for Australian airline Qantas spluttered back to life on Saturday after the bidders said they received last-minute support from a large investor.

The Airline Partners Australia (APA) consortium said the support took shareholder acceptances to 50.6 per cent, just above the 50 per cent threshold needed to keep the 11.1 billion dollar (9.2 billion US) bid alive.

It was a major reversal for APA, which said late on Friday that its six-month campaign to gain control of the iconic Australian carrier had all but ended because of insufficient acceptances.

"Friday evening, APA announced that, subject to confirmation, it appeared that the offer had failed to reach the 50 per cent level required for the offer to proceed," the consortium said in a statement."

However, subsequently on Friday, APA received an acceptance from a large investor, which would be sufficient to take acceptances for Qantas shares to more than 50 per cent.

"APA intends to make submissions to the Takeovers Panel to allow the offer to continue."

The last-gasp reprieve gives APA two weeks to try to take shareholder acceptances up to 70 per cent, the level needed to finalise the takeover and make the bid unconditional.