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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Qantas Airways May Receive Increased Offer

SYDNEY -- The investment group whose 10.8 billion Australian dollar ($8.9 billion) bid for Qantas Airways collapsed over the weekend said Monday that it might make a new bid for the airline, as regulators sought clarification that the old offer was indeed dead.

Qantas, Australia's national carrier known affectionately as the Flying Kangaroo, halted trading in its shares Monday after regulators said the failure of the bid was uncertain because Airline Partners Australia might have undercounted the number of shares it won by a deadline last week.

APA, a private equity-backed group led by Macquarie Bank and U.S. takeover specialist TPG, had until Friday night to win 50 percent of Qantas shares to get a two-week extension to garner the 70 percent it needed to seal the deal, which would have been one of the biggest in Australian history.

Shortly after the deadline, the group said it appeared not to have reached the threshold. Hours later, it said a single shareholder had agreed to sell enough shares to get the bid across the line, and asked corporate regulators to grant the extension.

The Australian panel that rules on buyout disputes rejected the appeal, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission joined the panel Monday in saying no exceptional circumstances existed that would allow APA to count the late shares.