by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) June 06, 2013
A firm founded by Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho has paid US$66 million for a third of new budget airline Jetstar Hong Kong for US$66 million, Australia's Qantas said Thursday.
Shipping and property giant Shun Tak Holdings will hold an equal share in the low-cost carrier, a joint venture involving Qantas and China Eastern Airlines that plans launch this year flying to China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia.
Qantas chief Alan Joyce said the transaction would see his airline reduce its investment from US$99 million so that all three entities had a third share, with Jetstar Hong Kong's market value unchanged at US$198 million.
"This adds to the strategic partnerships we have across Asia with companies that have chosen to invest in the Jetstar brand," said Joyce in a statement to the Australian stock market.
"There is clear potential for a local low-cost carrier in Hong Kong to stimulate new travel demand, particularly given the proximity to mainland China and the ability to connect with existing parts of the Jetstar network," he added. Qantas owns the Jetstar brand and has other joint ventures in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.
The move will help Jetstar Hong Kong in its application for regulatory approval in the city, which has tough rules for foreign-owned firms looking to set up locally.
Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak Holdings is run by managing director Pansy Ho, daughter of Macau casino mogul Stanley.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story --
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