Singapore Airlines lifts stake in Virgin Australia to 19.9%

It boosts its influence at the carrier at a time of industry jostling to secure lucrative routes in Southeast Asia.


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The purchase makes Singapore Airlines the joint largest shareholder in Australia’s No.2 airline, with Air New Zealand also owning a matching stake that is just under the limit allowed before a full takeover must be launched.

Australia’s airline industry has been a battleground for global airlines seeking partnerships in recent months, with Qantas Airways Ltd establishing a wide-ranging alliance with Emirates Airlines.

Singapore Airlines bought an additional 9.9 percent for A$123 million ($126 million) from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Branson will retain a 12.4 percent holding.

A spokesman for the company said it had no plans at this point to further increase its holding. The deal is subject to approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.