Vol. 5 Num 400 Tue. July 12, 2005  

Singapore low-cost airline rivals call off merger talks

Jetstar Asia said Monday it had reluctantly called off talks with rival Singapore-based budget carrier Valuair, less than two weeks after announcing the airlines had begun merger negotiations.

"Jetstar Asia confirmed that it had withdrawn its offer in a deal being discussed with Valuair," the company said in a statement.

Jetstar Asia chief executive officer Ken Ryan said he had been enthusiastic about an alliance with Valuair but did not give details as to why the talks broke down.

"In the airline industry, you can grow organically or through acquisitions. The Valuair opportunity gave us the chance to do both at the same time," Ryan said.

"It would have been good if we were able to reach agreement but the fact that we didn't doesn't impact our ongoing business expansion."

The Business Times newspaper reported on Monday Jetstar Asia had intended to buy all of Valuair and raise 60 million Singapore dollars (35.30 million US) through a new shares subsciption.