Virgin Australia’s administrator has said it expects to receive eight indicative offers ahead of its 6pm deadline.
Deloitte said nearly 20 interested parties had been granted access to the data room and eight to a “Virgin 2.0 business plan”.
Lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge said there was “plenty of competitive tension” during what he termed an “aggressive process”.
“It’s one we are confident we can achieve,” said Strawbridge. “Our objective remains to deliver a revitalised, viable, and profitable airline under new ownership.”
The business said it would assess the bids over the next few days before creating a shortlist of three parties to participate in the next stage of the process.
Binding offers are not required until 12 June, with a resolution expected by the end of that month.
The state of Queensland, the most high-profile party, is rumoured to have opted out of today’s deadline but will go further than the $200 million on the table in order to safeguard the airline’s Brisbane base.
Strawbridge said, “Up to now, we’ve certainly seen a high level of interest from a significant number of high-quality parties, many of whom are capable of completing a transaction of this size and complexity.
“There is plenty of competitive tension, and that’s what’s needed to drive the best outcome, an outcome that preserves as many jobs as possible, and the best result for all creditors.”
Aside from Queensland, rumoured parties include a joint bid between Canadian investor Brookfield and Macquarie, billionaire mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, private equity firm BGH Capital, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, Global PE giant Bain Capital and India’s InterGlobe Enterprises.
Earlier on Friday, Australian Aviation reported that Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be able to redeem their points on domestic flights from 1 September, after previously freezing the service when Virgin Australia entered administration.
The business, which is separate to the airline, said in a statement it was “hopeful” coronavirus travel restrictions and border closure would be lifted in July, in line with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s three-step lockdown exit plan unveiled last week.
For more of our in-depth coverage, click the links below:
- Velocity Frequent Flyer points have been paused, but won’t be cancelled;
- Sir Richard Branson hits out at the Australian government as he pays tribute to Virgin staff;
- The TWU and opposition urges the government to make a ‘bold’ move to save the airline;
- Australia’s states have entered an apparent bailout bidding war to help Virgin Australia – on the condition the reborn business shifts its base away from Brisbane.