|Mooove over: The airways have a new trolly dolly.|
The regime is reported to have rejected a FJD 70 million offer from Qantas for its 46.3 per cent stake in Air Pacific.
The national carrier is being re branded and will go back to operating under the name Fiji Airways in a move to cash in on what the regime says is the strong 'Fiji' brand.
The magazine Islands Business says Qantas, the second biggest shareholder after Fiji, has offered to sell its shares but the price is higher than what the regime thinks is fair.
It quotes the illegal attorney general and tourism minister, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, as saying:
“We believe that the offer is too high for the value of the shares,” says Sayed-Khaiyum. “The worth of the shares by way of reference the last sale of shares in Air Pacific was in approximately early 2006, when the Solomon islands government was selling approximately one percent of its shares in Air Pacific. They offered it to the then Fiji government who did not want to buy it. Qantas bought those shares for about $1.74 a share but Air Pacific’s financial position then was a lot better then before they made those consecutive years of loss.”
The regime is also reported to want Qantas to follow procedures outlined in Air Pacific’s Article of Association, which says 'any offer to sell should be formally made and should a conflict arise on the price offered, the matter is to be taken to an independent arbitrator who will then appoint an independent valuer to value the shares'.
“The Fijian government remains keen to buy Qantas shareholding in Air Pacific Ltd and is committed to negotiating a sale price with Qantas in good faith and in a fair and transparent manner as set out in my letter (to Qantas).”
The regime has already commissioned what it says is an independent valuation from the Australian firm Lonergan Edwards which valued '100 percent of Air Pacific at between F$145m-F$165m and Qantas’ 46.3 percent shares at between F$67-F$76 million.'
Qantas offer too high: island business
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