Virgin Australia Creditors To Vote On $2.5B Takeover

Credit: Virgin Australia

Administrators for Virgin Australia are recommending creditors vote to accept a proposed takeover of the company valued at A$3.5 billion ($2.5 billion).

Details of Bain Capital’s purchase bid were revealed to creditors on Aug. 25, and they will vote on the proposal at a Sept. 4 meeting. Bain was selected as the preferred bidder by Virgin’s administrators in June. Virgin Australia entered voluntary administration in April.

The deal offered by Bain includes full payment of employee entitlements, honoring customer travel credits, continuing “a number of” supply and finance arrangements, and a return of A$462-612 million to unsecured creditors. This represents only a small portion of the amount actually owed to unsecured creditors.

Administrator Vaughan Strawbridge of Deloitte said the proposal “provides for the best return to creditors in what are extraordinary circumstances.” However, there will be no return for Virgin Australia’s major shareholders Etihad Airways, HNA Group, Singapore Airlines, the Nanshan Group and U.K.-based Virgin Group.

An initial sale agreement has already been reached between Bain and the administrator. Even if the creditors vote to reject the proposal, Bain can still take over the company through an asset sale agreement. This would involve the transfer of the business and assets into a new corporate structure and liquidating the existing company.

The administrator estimates there would be a return of 9-13% to unsecured creditors if the sale agreement is approved by creditors. However, the return would be 4-7% under a liquidation and asset sale scenario, and 1% under liquidation with no sale. 

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.