[photopress:air_SIA_1.jpg,full,alignright]China Eastern has said it couldn’t consider a wide-ranging proposal offered by Air China’s parent to link up with China Eastern Airlines until August.
China Eastern said it is barred from accepting deals with other carriers until August 9, as part of a lock-up clause in its failed attempt to sell a stake to Singapore Airlines and its parent, Temasek Holdings.
China Eastern’s minority shareholders rejected the planned link-up on Tuesday. Air China’s parent, China National Aviation Holding has said it would bid for a stake of up to 30 percent in its Shanghai-based rival.
China Eastern, which has made clear it wants no deal with Air China, said it couldn’t even consider a bid from CNAHC for the time being. China Eastern official said the airline has a nine-month lock-up agreement with Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines confirmed such a clause was in place, with spokesman Stephen Forshaw saying the lock-up measure hadn’t required shareholder approval.
China Eastern’s shareholders have voted to reject the proposed $923 million tie-up with SIA, which would have given Singapore Air a significant foothold in China while giving China Eastern a partnership with one of the world’s most respected airlines.
The CNAHC official said the state-owned company would make its proposal soon. CNAHC’s proposal will include the three principles outlined in a statement it issued in late December, said a second CNAHC official.
The three principles include Air China and China Eastern establishing a cross-shareholding structure, integration of their cargo operations into a single joint venture, and joint operation of international air routes.
China Eastern has said it still hopes to reach a deal with Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines also said it still wants a deal, but it doesn’t plan to raise its offer.
Source: CargoNews Asia