Monday, May 11, 2020

Rahul Bhatia-owned InterGlobe Enterprises eyes failed Virgin Australia

InterGlobe Enterprises, the parent of the country’s largest airline IndiGo, has evinced interest in Virgin Australia, Australia’s second-largest aviation company. Virgin Australia entered bankruptcy administration two weeks ago after lawmakers refused financial aid during the Covid-19 pandemic on fears it would amount to a bailout of foreign carriers that together own 90 per cent of the airline’s stock.
Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, and British tycoon Richard Branson’s Virgin Group are among firms that have a stake in the bankrupt carrier.
Sources said an InterGlobe team was overseeing the entire bid process. A spokesperson for IndiGo also confirmed in a stock exchange notification that the airline was not involved in the process
The Rahul Bhatia-owned enterprise 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.
May 15 is the last date to make first offers for Virgin Australia. To date, 20 bidders have expressed interest, said Deloitte, which is running the bid process. The bids will be “non-binding indicative offers”, based on full access to Virgin’s books and a detailed sale memorandum prepared by the airline-appointed administrator (Deloitte).
Sources aware of the plan said the InterGlobe management believes Virgin Australia has strong business potential because it is the strongest rival to continental giant Qantas.
“A country as large as Australia cannot have Qantas as the only airline. The government of Australia also made known its intention to revive Virgin Australia,” said a person in the know.
11/05/20 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard

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