Rahul Bhatia's InterGlobe Enterprises joins list of bidders for bankrupt airline Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is one of the first major airlines to seek bankruptcy protection in response to the pandemic

FP Staff May 12, 2020 08:00:37 IST
Rahul Bhatia's InterGlobe Enterprises joins list of bidders for bankrupt airline Virgin Australia

InterGlobe Enteprises, the biggest shareholder for India' largest airline IndiGo, is joining a list of bidders who have shown interest in Virgin Australia, Australia's second-largest aviation company.

Rahul Bhatia owns IndiGo holding through InterGlobe Enterprises Ltd. The aviation firm has appointed an Australian consultant for the process.

“The entity has accessed data room and may take the process forward. However, no formal interest has been submitted yet,” said a person about InterGlobe’s plans. A spokeswoman for InterGlobe said the firm would not comment on market speculation, according to a report in The Business Standard.

No bids have been put in yet. The first round of bids have have to be submitted by 15 May, according to a report in The Times of India

IndiGo is interested in taking Virgin back to its roots as a low cost carrier. It would then look to return it to profitability by running a lean and mean operation, news reports said.

Rahul Bhatias InterGlobe Enterprises joins list of bidders for bankrupt airline Virgin Australia

Representational image. Reuters.

Deloitte, the administrator for Virgin Australia, is seeking indicative bids by Friday and binding offers in June, targeting a deal by the end of that month, a report in Mint said.

Virgin Australia, Australia's second-largest airline, entered bankruptcy administration two weeks ago after the government refused the airline's request for a 1.4 billion Australian dollar ($888 million) loan after a debt crisis worsened by the coronavirus shutdown pushed it into insolvency, The Associated Press said in a report.

The airline's major shareholders are Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways as well as Chinese investment conglomerates Nanshan Group and HNA Group. British billionaire founder Richard Branson holds a 10 percent stake, the report said.

Virgin said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange that it had appointed a team of Deloitte administrators to “recapitalize the business and help ensure it emerges in a stronger financial position on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.”

It is  one of the first major airlines to seek bankruptcy protection in response to the pandemic. Virgin's administrators have taken control of the company and will try to work out a way to save either the company or its business, The Associated Press said.

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