AIZ`s Ann:Company Update
Fri 28 Sep 2001
Published: Fri 28 Sep 2001 16:53:18
Document No: 181789
Document part: A
Market Flag: N
Classification: Progress Report - Other
AIR NEW ZEALAND LIMITED 2001-09-28 ASX-SIGNAL-G HOMEX - Melbourne +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Air New Zealand has responded to a number of widely reported and conflicting comments about the company reported in news media and the consequent trading halt on the Company's shares on the NZSE by asking the market surveillance panel of the NZSE to suspend the company's shares in the best interests of the market until a comprehensive announcement can be made. The Acting Chairman of Air New Zealand, Dr Jim Farmer, advises that progress is still continuing to be made in discussions among Air New Zealand, its major shareholders, the New Zealand Government and other relevant parties. Dr Farmer acknowledged that the market is anxious to obtain further information to establish some certainty about steps to be taken to recapitalise the company. "That remains the objective of current discussions, but those discussions could themselves be prejudiced by premature, incomplete disclosure," he said. The discussions were expected to continue over the weekend and would have to be completed before any announcement could be made by the company. This is expected to be early next week. Dr Farmer said that one particular media comment required immediate correction. This was a very misleading media report claiming that Air New Zealand had failed to repay an ANZ Bank loan which fell due last Thursday. The facts are that the loan was replaced by a new loan facility, agreed with the ANZ Bank. The company has been in close discussions with all its banks following the write-off of its investment in Ansett Holdings on 13 September and none of the company's lenders has recalled any of their loans to Air New Zealand. Dr Farmer said he had no knowledge of any connection between the ANZ Bank loan and the resignation by the Chairman of ANZ, Mr Charles Goode, from the Air New Zealand Board of Directors on the day that the renewal was agreed.