Air New Zealand sells Virgin stake to Chinese

(AAP)
(AAP)

Air New Zealand has found a Chinese buyer for most of its stake in Virgin Australia.

According to a statement released to the stock exchange, Air New Zealand has sold 19.98 percent out of its total 25.9 percent, to the Nanshan Group, a privately owned Chinese conglomerate with interests across a wide range of industries.

Nanshan's aviation interests include its own emerging airline, Qingdao Airlines, which was launched in April 2014.

Virgin Australia is currently undergoing a capital restructure. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals from Chinese authorities.

"We believe Nanshan Group will be a very strong, positive and complimentary shareholder for Virgin Australia.

“The sale will allow Air New Zealand to focus on its own growth opportunities, while still continuing its long-standing alliance with Virgin Australia on the trans-Tasman network," Air New Zealand chairperson Tony Carter.

About Nanshan Group:

 Nanshan Group is a large, privately owned Chinese conglomerate with interests across a diverse range of industries. Nanshan's aviation interests include its own emerging airline, Qingdao Airlines, launched in April 2014. Nanshan Group is privately owned.

 Nanshan Group has operations across the United States, Australia, Italy, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong. For many consecutive years, the Nanshan Group has been ranked as one of China's top 500 companies.

The aviation industry is a focus area for Nanshan Group as it seeks to develop an integrated industrial system for coordinated development across air transportation, tourism, corporate aviation, aeronautical education, aviation maintenance and aviation materials manufacturing.

Nanshan has a longstanding relationship with the Australian Woolmark Company in developing leading edge wool products through its jointly established R&D centre in China.  Nanshan is working jointly with Purdue University, Indiana (USA) in the area of aviation education.

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