Etihad acquires 4pc stake in Virgin Australia: Gulf Daily News

Posted: June 6, 2012 in Airlines, Asia, Australia, Aviation & Airports (General News), Middle East
Tags: , , , , , , ,

[Gulf Daily News] DUBAI: Abu Dhabi‘s rapidly-growing Etihad Airways has bought a four per cent stake in Virgin Australia, its fourth overseas deal since December as the airline tries to compete with Gulf rivals.

Etihad said it had acquired the 3.96pc Virgin Australia stake for $35.6 million via market purchases over the past few weeks. Photo: Wikipedia

Etihad said it had acquired the 3.96pc Virgin Australia stake for $35.6 million via market purchases over the past few weeks. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline, founded eight-years ago, has already bought stakes in three other carriers in a push to chase the big Gulf state-backed airlines like Dubai’s Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad said it had acquired the 3.96pc Virgin Australia stake for $35.6 million via market purchases over the past few weeks.

“At a point in time, we would like to take it (stake) to a minimum of 10pc, if we get the necessary approvals,” Etihad chief executive James Hogan.

“This is a long game. There’s no race here. We have a 10-year commercial relationship with Virgin Australia. This is just step by step building.”

The Virgin stake shows Etihad’s willingness to make acquisitions to compete with its larger Gulf rivals, which are increasingly challenging European, Asian and Australian carriers on long-haul routes.

Hogan said that the growth strategy is designed to make it the Gulf’s top carrier. He said the airline would take delivery of 100 aircraft over the next eight years but still would not be the biggest airline in the Gulf.

“We believe that by investing and partnering it enables us to extend our network,” he said.

In December, the unlisted airline raised a stake in Air Berlin to nearly 30pc from just under 3pc, for about 73m euros. Last month, it bought a 3pc stake in Irish airline Aer Lingus as a precursor to a commercial tie-up that could…….

Read the rest of this story at Gulf Daily News…..


Gulf Daily News
Wednesday, June 06, 2012


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