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Qantas in a Spin

May 7th, 2007 at 08:31 am

I'm still not sure if selling my Qantas shares last Friday for $5.39 was a great move, or a real dud. QAN has been in a trading halt all day today. The company which mounted the takeover (APA) has apparently not decided what they're going to do, or if their takeover bid really did fail to make the 50% control required for the bid to get a two week extension. Initially they announced on Friday night that they had failed to get 50% acceptances by the deadline. Then they convinced a US hedge fund to sell at least half their stake, pushing APA over the 50% mark, but after the deadline for acceptances had passed. Over the weekend the takeover review board didn't allow an exception to the deadline, so the bid appeared to have definitely failed. Then today there was talk that apparently the offer document included a clause stating that partial acceptances were not allowed, and would be deemed to be a full acceptance, so the takeover *might* have actually achieved the required 50% before the deadline - but no-one is sure, and applying this clause would probably end up in the courts.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has sent Qantas a "please explain" memo regarding a possible breach of the legislation that requires foreign ownership of Qantas to be less than 50%. Apparently with all the share trading in the past few days, much of it controlled by foreign hedge funds, this rule may have been broken. If so, Qantas has to go through all the transactions and reverse out enough done by foreign parties to get back to the 50% limit.

Hmmmm... no matter what does eventually happen to the takeover bid and the listed share price, I think I am better off having sold out after all.

Enough Wealth

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