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Australia's Qantas to Split into Four Units

Australia's Qantas Airways plans to split itself into four operating businesses as it seeks ways to unlock value following a failed takeover, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Citing no sources, the paper said the main airline and its Jetstar low-cost subsidiary will form one unit, with the other three units owning the planes, the frequent flyer program and the freight business.

The restructure is expected to be announced when Qantas reports full-year results in mid-August, the paper said.

Australia's biggest airline has been considering options for a major restructure, an idea inherited from a private equity consortium which failed to secure a US$9 billion takeover for the company in May.

Qantas said in May it might "demerge" its express freight joint venture and was reviewing ownership of its frequent flyer program. It also signaled increased capital returns with analysts predicting a share buyback of up to A$2 billion.

The airline may keep 100 percent ownership of each of the units, though outside investors may also become involved, the paper said. A four-way split could add up to A$1.70 a share to Qantas' value, it said.