Consortium sells out Qantas stake

Singapore
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A group of Australian businessmen led by former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon has abandoned its stake in the country's flag carrier.

A report in an Australian newspaper says that the consortium, which also includes former Qantas chief financial officer Peter Gregg and venture capitalist Mark Carnegie, has sold the 1.5% stake it acquired in the airline last year when Qantas's share price dipped to its lowest ever price of A$0.97 ($1.02).

The group is understood to have made a profit of A$18 million from the sale, adds the newspaper.

The consortium had sought to take a substantial stake in Qantas last year and make a number of strategic changes, including separating budget carrier Jetstar and the Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty business.

It had also planned to move the airline away from its proposed alliance with Emirates in favour of working with an Asian carrier instead.

The speculation surrounding the consortium and Dixon's intentions led Qantas to terminate a joint marketing agreement with Tourism Australia, citing a conflict of interest as Dixon is the organisation's chairman.