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August 6, 2008

Singapore Airlines to stick to its offer in China Eastern bid
Singapore Airlines (SIA), in an effort to buy a strategic stake in China Eastern Airlines, the mainland’s third-largest carrier, will not raise its offer in the derailed deal, reported AFP on Tuesday.

AFP quoted Stephen Forshaw, SIA’s vice president for public affairs as saying “We will not raise the price of 3.8 Hong Kong dollars (48 US cents) agreed in the framework agreement last year,” in the Xinhua news agency report late Monday.

Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state-linked investment firm, signed a preliminary deal last September to take a 24-percent stake in China Eastern for 923 million US dollars, or 3.8 Hong Kong dollars per share.

But the deal was voted down by minority shareholders in January after China National Aviation Corp. (CNAC), the parent company of Air China, indicated it would make a higher offer.

China Eastern’s management then rejected the CNAC offer, insisting it would continue to seek a partnership with Singapore Airlines.

Forshaw told Xinhua that SIA maintained a dialogue with China Eastern and the two carriers hoped to resume talks after the Beijing Olympics, which will be held August 8-24.

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