Chinese plan to take control of Kiwi aviation firm Airwork Holdings

By Fiona Rotherham

Airwork shares soared on news of the buyout plan.
Airwork shares soared on news of the buyout plan.

A Chinese company plans to buy 75 per cent of the shares in specialist aviation company Airwork Holdings.

Under a pre-bid deed, Zhejiang Rifa Holding Group (RIFA) has agreed to make a conditional partial takeover offer for the stake, at $5.40 per share.

Parties associated with non-executive director Hugh Jones hold 58.943 per cent of the Auckland-based company.

The shares jumped 18 per cent to $5.20 on the news, having risen 30 per cent in the past year, and closed yesterday at $5.05, up 63c. Airwork floated in late 2013, selling shares in an initial public offering at $2.60.

In addition, Condor Holdings, associated with Jones, has agreed to sell shares in the company.

Airwork's independent directors have advised all shareholders to take no action, pending further guidance from the company. It's understood the deed intends a takeover notice being given by or before Friday.

Airwork had a 58 per cent boost in net profit for the 2016 financial year to $24.6 million after strong earnings growth in its fixed-wing aircraft business.

- BusinessDesk

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