Purchase deal secured for Supercars backer Virgin

Andrew van Leeuwen

Hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the airline went into voluntary administration midway through April, Deloitte tasked with finding new owners.

As of yesterday there were still two bidders in the running, US-based investment firms Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners.

However things have changed dramatically today, Cyrus first announcing it has pulled out of the race before Deloitte confirmed that a sale and implementation deed has been entered with Bain Capital.

Virgin creditors will vote to complete the sale before the end of August.

"Bain Capital has presented a strong and compelling bid for the business that will secure the future of Australia's second airline, thousands of employees and their families and ensure Australia continues to enjoy the benefits of a competitive aviation sector," Virgin administrator Vaughan Strawbridge said in a statement.

“From day one of our appointment, we have focused on achieving the best possible outcomes that a restructured, sustainable and profitable airline can deliver to all stakeholders.

“In just over eight weeks, this is a very positive outcome. We have certainly been heartened by the levels of interest shown by parties, in spite of the prevailing covid-induced market conditions, how our final two groups have approached their bids, and how support for the business has come from so many quarters.”

Bain is reportedly planning to support the current management team, led by CEO Paul Scurrah, as well as honour travel credits and flights booked with Velocity frequent flyer points.

There is no indication yet what the deal means for the $1.5 million title sponsorship deal with Supercars, which was set to run until the end of 2021.