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Australian watchdog delays Virgin's Tiger deal news
09 March 2013

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) yesterday postponed a decision on the proposed acquisition by the country's second-largest carrier Virgin Australia of a controlling 60-per cent stake in Tiger Airways Australia, a subsidiary of Singapore's Tiger Airways Holdings.

The regulator, which has been reviewing the case since November, said that the earlier proposed decision date of 14 March has been delayed and has asked for more information from Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways. ACCC will announce a new date for its ruling in due course.

Brisbane-based Virgin has been vying with rival Qantas for a larger chunk of the Australian domestic market. In October, the carrier agreed to acquire loss-making Tiger Australia for $35 million.

At the same time, it had also made a $96 million cash-and-stock offer for regional carrier Skywest Airlines.

Virgin's alliance partner Singapore Airlines also had bought a 10-per cent stake in Virgin for $105 million. Virgin's other major shareholders include British business magnate Richard Branson's Virgin Group with a 26-per cent stake, Air New Zealand with 20 per cent and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways with 10 per cent.

Melbourne, Victoria-based Tiger is primarily a low-cost carrier which entered the Australian airline market in 2007. Tiger Airways Holdings is 33 per cent owned by Singapore Airlines.

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Australian watchdog delays Virgin's Tiger deal