Hoping to integrate its air freight product across its domestic and international networks, Qantas has sold its 50 percent stake in StarTrack to acquire 100 percent of air freight business, Australian air Express.
The agreement signed this morning will see the termination of an arrangement signed in 2003 that saw the two parties own 50 percent of both Australian air Express and StarTrack.
Although still subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, Qantas expects the transaction to be completed in the fourth quarter this year, with a profit of up to $30 million.
As well as issue return, the airlines chief executive Alan Joyce said the 100 percent acquisition was in line with growth plans and will strengthen the carrier's air cargo network.
By leveraging the best from both businesses and delivering efficiencies, we will provide a market-leading service to our customers, Mr Joyce said.
It enables us to improve a core business area while divesting a non-core asset, StarTrack.
We will continue to have a close commercial relationship with Australia Post and StarTrack remaining major customers of Australian air Express and Qantas Freight.
Late last week, the Australian flag carrier announced it had successfully refinanced up to AU$300 million undrawn tranche due to mature in May 2013.
The airline said the undrawn tranche had increased by AU$100 million, with maturity date extended to September 2015.
Qantas noted that as it was an undrawn facility, there would be no changes to its overall debt position.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J