30 Mar 2016

Air NZ looks to quit Virgin Australia

4:48 pm on 30 March 2016

Air New Zealand says it is looking at selling its stake in Virgin Australia and its chief executive has quit the board immediately.

Virgin Australia, Gold Coast.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The airline owns about a quarter of the Australian carrier and says it has hired two investment banks to look at the options for selling some or all of its stake.

At current prices, the investment is worth about $NZ385 million compared to the more than $NZ420m it paid to buy it.

Air New Zealand chairman Tony Carter said Virgin Australia had been restructured over the past five years from a low-cost carrier to a diversified airline.

He said Air New Zealand could use the money to advance its own growth, but it would continue its commercial alliance with Virgin on trans-Tasman routes.

Last week, Air New Zealand said it was lending Virgin about $NZ145m as the Australian airline restructured its finances.

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