According to a report from The Telegraph, billionaire Richard Branson is currently trying to find a buyer for Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., as he has been struggling to secure a 500 million pound (roughly $618 million) government bailout.
The businessman has the end of May as a deadline to save the United Kingdom-based airline from collapsing, as he is looking for new private investment from over 100 financial institutions.
A full team has been dispatched
“Houlihan Lokey has been appointed to assist the process, focusing on private-sector funding,” a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson revealed. “Discussions with a number of stakeholders continue and are constructive, meanwhile the airline remains in a stable position.”
So far, there have been over 50 investors who asked for more information but they will be narrowed down to a smaller amount of bidders.
It has also been revealed that Virgin’s application for aid from the government has been shelved. On the other side, there’s a chance for negotiations to be revived if there aren’t any other ways of finding investment, the same source reports.
Centerbridge Partners, Cerberus Capital Management, Lansdowne Partners, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Northill Capital are just a few of the names who expressed their interest in Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin is not the only airline affected!
49% of Virgin Atlantic is owned by Delta Air Lines Inc, a company that is now consumed with its own problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They have also bumped up against the limitation on foreign airline ownership imposed in the United Kingdom, said the company’s CEO, Ed Bastian.
Richard Branson is considered one of the highest-profile victims of the airline-industry crisis, which is currently just beginning. Another one of his businesses, mobile carrier Virgin Australia, entered administration a few days ago, following the refusal of their state bailout request.