Thursday, September 22, 2011
PNG GOVERNMENT GIVES IN-PRINCIPLE APPROVAL TO MERGER OF AIR NIUGINI AND AIRLINES PNG
Airlines of Papua New Guinea Limited (“Airlines PNG”) congratulates the PNG Government on the announcement today approving the in-principle merger of Air Niugini Limited, the state owned national carrier of PNG, with Airlines PNG. Airlines PNG ill work closely with the PNG Government and Air Niugini to develop the merger ransaction. A Memorandum of Understanding between the three parties will see the establishment of a Merger Implementation Office under the leadership of Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta, Minister for Public Enterprises. The Merger Implementation Office will establish the transaction structure and timeline for implementation, and ensure the people of PNG receive full and fair value via a fully transparent process and independent valuation of both companies. The merger is expected to bring great pportunities for the people of PNG, with immediate plans to extend aviation ervices into a range of rural areas not presently well served. Specifically Airlines PNG congratulates the PNG Government for their vision in making this possible. The merger will enable the combined airline which will operate one of the largest fleet of aircraft in the South Pacific, to better cover an extensive range of international and domestic destinations, serving locations from Singapore right down to small villages in PNG. A larger and stronger national carrier is also expected to provide increased employment opportunities for PNG staff following from the expansion of operations and the internalisation of certain support services which are currently provided off shore. The merger remains subject to the approval of Airlines PNG shareholders and approval of the final transaction by the Government, together with all other necessary corporate, regulatory and third party approvals. Airlines PNG’s Board remains committed to maximising value for its shareholders.This
will continue to be the central premise upon which the merger transaction will be evaluated. Airlines PNG will keep the market informed of further developments with the merger transaction as appropriate.
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