News: Ansett buyers want a discount

 
Old Feb 19, 02, 3:31 pm
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News: Ansett buyers want a discount

Ansett buyers want a discount
By IAN ROYALL, aviation reporter
20feb02

TYCOONS Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew are seeking to drive down the price they pay for Ansett by up to 10 per cent, banking sources say.

The discount -- believed to be about $27 million -- would further erode the meagre 5c in the dollar promised last month to unsecured creditors.

The Fox-Lew Tesna syndicate is believed to be pushing for a lower figure because the Ansett brand has been devalued, and that goodwill and public confidence was falling.

But one source said Tesna has been told "a deal is a deal" by representatives of the administrators, and any lack of confidence in the airline results from Tesna delaying the sale.

Tesna signed a sale contract with the administrators, Mark Mentha and Mark Korda, on November 8, agreeing to pay $270 million cash for the airline.

Tesna has already reduced the amount of staff entitlements it would assume. Cutting staff levels from 4000 to 3000 employees meant it would take over $183 million in entitlement liabilities, instead of $244 million.

The administrators have been running Ansett on a limited-service basis since September 29, hoping to maintain the value of the carrier by selling it as a going concern.

In the October-December period, the airline operational losses incurred by the administrators were estimated at $15 million to $20 million.

But during February those losses have ballooned to at least $6 million a week.

It is also believed a settlement date to complete the Tesna sale was to have been set on Monday night, in time for yesterday's Federal Court hearing.

But no date was set.

The hearing was adjourned and lawyers said legal documentation was incomplete.

Outside court, Mr Korda said the sale was "in the home stretch" and the February 28 deadline was still in place.

No changes have been made to the sale price, he said.

A Tesna spokesman was unavailable for comment last night.
RichardMEL is offline  
Old Feb 19, 02, 5:21 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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Im really losing ANY faith I had in Fox / Lew. Of course the brand has been devalued, anyone could have told them that by not honouring the FF points, they would tarnish Ansett's brand name!
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