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23-09-2004, 12:19
CNAC Denies Report On Air Macau Takeover
September 22, 2004
China National Aviation (CNAC) on Wednesday denied a newspaper report that talks were going on about a takeover of its subsidiary Air Macau by Australian no-frills airline Virgin Blue.

Earlier in the day, the South China Morning Post quoted unidentified Macau-based sources as saying Virgin Blue, Air Macau and CNAC were discussing several options, such as merging Air Macau into Virgin's operation in Macau.

The newspaper also quoted CNAC sources as saying the carrier's senior executives were pushing for the deal but had encountered resistance from some Macau-based executives who opposed ceding control of the Macau market to other carriers.

CNAC, which owns 51 percent of Air Macau, said in a statement late on Wednesday that those paragraphs of the report were "untrue and unfounded".

"In view of the tremendous growth potential of Macau's tourism and entertainment industries, CNAC Ltd has been actively exploring opportunities for further business development of Air Macau," said CNAC.

"One of the actions taken was conducting discussions with different companies in respect of the future developments of Air Macau. However, the option of having another organization take over Air Macau has never been the company's intention, nor has it been considered/discussed with any entity," CNAC added.

"Given the aforementioned SCMP article carries inaccurate facts and misleading information, the company would take appropriate legal action where necessary," CNAC said.

CNAC is the Hong Kong arm of China National Aviation Corporation, which is controlled by China's regulatory authority, the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

(Reuters)