Air China is not interested in taking over Cathay Pacific and has no desire to get involved with the daily running of Hong Kong’s flagship airline, according to a member of the state-owned carrier’s board.
“Based on what I know, I wouldn’t think that is anywhere on the agenda, no way,” aviation veteran Stanley Hui Hon-chung told the Post, when asked if Air China might seek to buy the Hong Kong carrier outright.
Hui, an independent non-executive director at the mainland carrier, said any Beijing-led moves that changed Cathay Pacific’s ownership would send the wrong signal to foreign investors.
Air China owns 29.99% of Cathay Pacific, the maximum a single party can own of a publicly listed company in Hong Kong. Once a shareholder crosses the 30% mark, an offer must be made for the rest of the shares, under the city’s takeover regulations.
The Beijing-owned carrier has four representatives on Cathay’s board, and its chairman, Cai Jianjiang, is Cathay’s deputy chairman. Cathay Pacific owns 18.13% of Air China and has one board seat, currently held by outgoing chairman John Slosar.
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