13 Jun 2012

Qantas shares up after takeover speculation

7:15 am on 13 June 2012

Qantas shares have soared amid reports the airline has set up an executive team to defend itself from any hostile takeover bids.

The airline has confirmed that chief executive Alan Joyce has reactivated an executive team established last year as takeover speculation gathered momentum.

Investors have also been encouraged by news that Emirates Airlines is looking to establish a commercial arrangement with Qantas, but has ruled out buying a stake in the airline.

Morningstar senior analyst Nachi Moghe says Qantas is an attractive asset because of its strong hold on the domestic travel market.

But he believes there are very few ways it can defend itself against a takeover given sharp falls in its share price in the last week.

The Qantas share price has dropped more than 30% in the last week, slumping to record lows after the airline warned that it expected its full-year profit to fall by up to 90%.

Its share price rose 10.8% on Tuesday amid optimism about the takeover defence team.