Qantas has reached an agreement to fully acquire Australian-based operator, Alliance Aviation Services (Alliance), enabling the national carrier to better serve the growing resources sector.
The agreement, which is subject to a vote from Alliance shareholders and competition clearance, would see Alliance become a wholly owned part of the Qantas Group.
Alliance has a fleet of 70 jet aircraft that seat up to 100 people each, making them well suited to charter operations. Between these charter services and a small number of passenger routes that overlap with large mine sites, Alliance accounts for around 2% of the total domestic market.
The national carrier is Alliance’s biggest single customer, with a long-term agreement that sees Alliance operate up to 18 newly acquired E190 jets for QantasLink. This arrangement has helped open new direct routes and increase frequency across regional Australia.
Qantas bought just under 20% of Alliance in February 2019 and at the time flagged its long-term interest in acquiring 100% of the airline. The ACCC investigated that minority holding for three years and made no findings that it lessened competition.
Under this new agreement, the remaining 80% would be acquired through a scheme of arrangement where Alliance shareholders receive Qantas shares worth AU$4.75 for each Alliance share they hold, representing a 32% premium to Alliance’s volume weighted average price for the past three months. Qantas would issue new shares valued at approximately AU$614 million in a transaction that is expected to be EPS accretive for Qantas shareholders, before synergies. (£1.00 = AU$1.74 at time of publication).