Qantas shares rebound after takeover speculation

Qantas shares rebound after takeover speculation

Qantas shares rebounded from a record low last week amid speculation that the airline has taken on a firm to help fight off potential takeover bids.

The Australian investment banking firm Macquarie Group was named as the company involved, prompting an 11% rise in the airline’s shares to A$1.08 on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Qantas shares have plunged more than 43% in the past year, falling to a record a low of A$0.96 last week.

The airline appointed Macquarie bankers and set up an internal team “to advise on the defense against potential private equity bids”, a Qantas spokesman said, confirming earlier media reports.

The Australian Financial Review first reported that Macquarie had been appointed.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has also appointed Citigroup to monitor the airline's share register for any raiders, the newspaper said.

Top executives are reportedly not aware of any bids being lined, but Joyce has reactivated an internal defence team, first set up last year when there was talk that former Qantas chief Geoff Dixon, who left the carrier in 2008, was working with a consortium to buy a big stake in the airline.

Qantas shares hit a record low of 96 cents last week after the company warned it expected to suffer its first net loss since being privatised in 1995, blaming deep losses in its international operations, weak travel demand and soaring fuel costs.


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