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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 May 2007, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Last-ditch Qantas offer blocked
Qantas jets
The takeover bid has been opposed by many in Australia
Regulators have rejected a last-ditch attempt by a consortium to revive its takeover of Australian airline Qantas.

Airline Partners Australia (APA) said on Saturday it had secured the backing of enough Qantas shareholders to permit the controversial bid to go ahead.

The announcement came hours after APA said it had failed to win sufficient support ahead of an official deadline.

APA offered 10.8bn Australian dollars (4.5bn; $8.9bn) for Qantas, despite opposition from some politicians.

Job fears

The consortium, which includes acquisitive Australian bank Macquarie and US private equity group Texas Pacific, had been set a deadline of 0900 GMT on Friday to win at least 50% of shareholder acceptances in order for the bid to go ahead.

Although APA failed to meet the deadline, a decision shortly afterwards by a key US investor to back the deal left the consortium with 50.6% of Qantas shareholder support.

Despite the late acceptances, APA sought permission to proceed with the next stage of the bid, in which it would be required to gain 70% of shareholder support over the next two weeks.

However, Australia's takeovers panel refused the request, saying it had "decided not to commence proceedings in relation to APA's application".

APA said it planned to challenge the ruling.

A number of senior Australian politicians have attacked the takeover attempt, fearing that APA will end a number of internal routes and move jobs to South Asia.

However, the Australian government has backed the deal, while APA had moved to alleviate fears over reduced fights and potential job cuts.


SEE ALSO
APA Qantas bid wins late reprieve
05 May 07 |  Business
APA admits likely Qantas defeat
04 May 07 |  Business
Deadline looms for Qantas offer
03 May 07 |  Business
Qantas suitor steps up bid battle
24 Apr 07 |  Business
Qantas bid hit by investor block
23 Mar 07 |  Business

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