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Singapore's Temasek exits Jetstar Asia

Qantas Airways' low-cost carrier in Singapore, Jetstar Asia, is undergoing an ownership change with the Singapore Government's investment arm Temasek Holdings and small minority shareholders selling out.

Jetstar says in a statement that an agreement has been reached in which Qantas will increase its stake to 49% from 45% and the other owners are to exit the business.

Singaporean businessman Dennis Choo is stepping in and buying the remaining 51% stake using his wholly-owned investment vehicle Westbrook Investments, it says.

Qantas and Choo's stakes will come under a new company, Newstar Investment, that will be the new holding company for Jetstar Asia and replace the previous holding company Orangestar Investment Holdings.

The owners that are selling out are Temasek Holdings which had about 33.5% equity in Orangestar.

There were also several small minority shareholders such as Malaysian company Star Cruises and Singaporean businessmen Wong Fongfui and Tony Chew.

Singaporean Choo will also become chairman of the Singapore carrier, says Jetstar, adding the Chong Phit-lian will remain Jetstar Asia's CEO.

Choo has links to Qantas because his Singapore travel agency Holiday Tours & Travel sells Qantas air tickets and Qantas holiday travel packages.

Jetstar says the ownership change means in future Jetstar Asia "will more closely align operations with Qantas group's Australian-based low-cost carrier Jetstar" and offer "a more seamless passenger experience".

Temasek is the Singapore government's investment arm and Temasek also owns major stakes in Jetstar's Singapore competitors Tiger Airways and Singapore Airlines.

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