As reported by the Telegraph, Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group is looking for a buyer for Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. as he aims to sell it before the end of May, failing to secure a 500 million pound i.e. dollar 618 million government bailout.
An investment bank Houlihan Lokey is said to have been appointed by the airline to help find investors.
The bank has inlined a hundred potential bidders among which half of them are asking for more information, as per the sources.
Mr. Branson has a 51 per-cent stake in the business which could be doomed but there is hope that the investors will inject cash to help write-off debts or provide equity or convertible loans.
According to the daily mail UK, possible investors are said to include Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Wall Street investor Cerberus Capital Management.
There have been reports that Lansdowne Partners have an interest, but a spokesperson denied that the organization has no interest in doing so, as it was involved in a refinancing of Virgin Atlantic, according to reports.
Many hammered airlines have been able to obtain the Treasury’s COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility loans, which also includes EasyJet and Wizz Air, but unfortunately Virgin Atlantic has failed to meet the criteria for the emergency cash.
Mr. Branson in an open letter to his 10,000 employees last week, warned that the airline would go bust without the required support.
There have been sources as reported by daily mail claiming that Houlihan Lokey is looking to finish the rescue operation before the start of June.
There is another possibility of putting Virgin Atlantic into administration, it is understood – with sources claiming accountancy firm EY is thought to be first in line to take any possible appointment.
If the current plan fails then an option coming to Sir Richard, one of the world’s wealthiest men who will keep bankrolling the business as the search, for investment continues – and while the possibility of a government bailout has been put on pause.
A four billion euro fortune is estimated with Sir Richard and yet he could not save the Australian arm of his airline from going into administration earlier this week.