Indonesia's Lion Air in talks to buy Qantas stake in Jetstar Asia
(Reuters) - Indonesia's Lion Air Group is in talks with Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) about buying the Australian carrier's stake in the Singapore-based affiliate of its budget airline Jetstar, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The talks to buy out Qantas' 49 percent stake in Jetstar Asia Airways, the Singapore affiliate, began a few months ago and are still at an early stage, the person said, declining to be identified because the matter was confidential.
Any purchase would be subject to approval from the Singapore regulators, the source added. The value of any potential deal is unclear.
A Qantas spokesman declined comment on the matter, saying it was "speculation". Jetstar Asia and Lion Air Group also declined to comment. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore had no immediate comment.
Any potential sale would help the bottom line of Qantas, which saw stiff competition at home and overseas pushing it deep into the red in the six months ended Dec. 31.
In February, Qantas said it had shed staff, slashed spending and sold gaz-guzzling planes as part of its most radical shake-up since it was privatized 20 years ago. It has also halted the expansion of Jetstar, all steps aimed at convincing the Australian government that it is worthy of the state assistance it says it desperately needs.
(more: Indonesia's Lion Air in talks to buy Qantas stake in Jetstar Asia: source | Reuters)
To me the last paragraph quoted above is an interesting one. Despite all those things, they still need to sell to help their balance sheet?