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Distressed Virgin Australia has no shortage of white knights

DESPITE the severe down in global aviation, the result of the coronavirus outbreak, troubled Virgin Australia Holdings has plenty of suitor ready to make offers, reports Bloomberg

21 May 2020 - 19:00

DESPITE the severe down in global aviation, the result of the coronavirus outbreak, troubled Virgin Australia Holdings has plenty of suitor ready to make offers, reports Bloomberg.

Virgin entered voluntary administration last month after being overwhelmed by A$6.5 billion (US$4.2 billion) in debt amplified by years of losses and a severe revenue shortfall from coronavirus-related travel cancellations.



Some 20 prospective buyers have expressed initial interest in buying Virgin Australia. That makes the airline a contested asset in an environment where many deals have been put on ice.



They've been working to prepare indicative bids when Virgin's administrator, Deloitte, will be able to see who's serious about rescuing the carrier.



Brookfield Asset Management and Indian billionaire Rahul Bhatia's InterGlobe Enterprises are among those considering submitting indicative proposals, reports Bloomberg.



Queensland's regional government has also expressed interest that could include taking a stake or offering loans or guarantees. Other parties described in local media as weighing bids include private equity firms Bain Capital and BGH Capital.



Why buyers are drawn to the business is that Australia is 'something of an oasis in aviation,' in part because of the size of the market, according to Peter Harbison, chairman of market intelligence provider CAPA Centre for Aviation.



'It is essentially necessarily a duopoly, possibly some space for a little bit more, but it's a very valuable market,' he said in an interview. 'It's also quite likely to come back fairly quickly, because of the way we've handled the epidemic so far.'


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