Singapore, BGH lead Virgin race

Original article by Glenda Korporaal, Damon Kitney
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 15-May-20

Deloitte’s Vaughan Strawbridge is expected to receive four serious non-binding indicative bids for Virgin Australia on 15 May. They are tipped to include a consortium that is headed by AustralianSuper and private equity firm BGH. Singapore’s Temasek will not be a member of the consortium, although it would gain indirect exposure to Virgin via its investment in BGH’s $2.5bn equity fund. Queensland government-owned QIC has ruled out making an indicative bid on 15 May, although it might join a consortium in the second round of the bidding process.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, TEMASEK HOLDINGS (PTE) LTD, QIC LIMITED

Virgin headed for another disaster, warns REX boss

Original article by Tony Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 7-May-20

Regional Express’s executive chairman Lim Kim Hai says the administrator of Virgin Australia seems to merely want a quick sale of the airline. However, Lim says Deloitte’s Vaughan Strawbridge should pursue a complete restructure of Virgin, otherwise it will face more financial problems under new owners. Lim argues that amongst other things, Virgin’s "restrictive and punitive" enterprise bargaining agreements need to be rewritten, although he concedes that unions will ensure that this does not happen.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, REGIONAL EXPRESS AIRLINES, REGIONAL EXPRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX REX

Virgin bidders set to team up after talks

Original article by Patrick Durkin, Liam Walsh, Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 4-May-20

Virgin Australia’s administrators Deloitte stated on 30 April that 20 parties had expressed an interest in buying the failed airline. However, that number could fall to around a dozen or less, following recent talks between potential bidders about the possibility of joining forces. Private equity firm BGH is said to be in discussion with AustralianSuper about a possible deal, with Singapore’s state owned investment fund Temasek also said to be involved in their talks. Other potential bidders include US private equity fund Indigo Partners and mining magnate Andrew Forrest, with Forrest possibly teaming up with David Baxby, the former aide of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, as Baxby and Forrest have close ties.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, INDIGO PARTNERS LLC, TEMASEK HOLDINGS (PTE) LTD, VIRGIN GROUP LIMITED

Forrest among Virgin suitors as June sale set

Original article by Robyn Ironside
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 1-May-20

The first meeting of Virgin Australia’s creditors has been told that eight prospective buyers of the carrier have signed non-disclosure agreements with the administrators. A further 12 parties are still in negotiations with Deloitte, which is seeking indicative offers by mid-May with a view to finalising the sale of Virgin by 30 June. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo investment group has declined to comment on speculation that the iron ore magnate could buy Virgin. ACTU president Michele O’Neil has called for government support for Virgin.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, MINDEROO PTY LTD, ACTU

BGH’s Team Australia appeal for Virgin

Original article by Patrick Durkin, Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 20 : 24-Apr-20

Twelve parties are believed to have expressed interest in acquiring or investing in Virgin Australia. They include Australian private equity firm BGH Capital, which contends that a local buyer would be in the best interests of the airline and its employees. Foreign private equity firms and hedge funds are said to be interested in Virgin. Meanwhile, former Ansett Australia chairman Rod Eddington has backed calls for Virgin to cease servicing international routes and focus on the domestic market.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD, ANSETT AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED

Private equity investors circle over Virgin

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Jemima Whyte
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 17-Apr-20

Virgin Australia has asked the federal government for a $1.4 billion loan to help it survive the COVID-19 induced shutdown of the aviation sector, and it has threatened to put itself into voluntary administration if government help is not forthcoming. However, pressure on the government to provide Virgin with a loan may have eased, due to reports that at least two private consortia are looking to take over the airline; one of the two is understood to be an investment bank partnered with an Australian infrastructure investor, while the other is believed to be a private equity entity in partnership with a "strategic airline investor".

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN

Tourism braces for Virgin blow

Original article by Lisa Allen
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 16-Apr-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has reiterated that Virgin Australia Holdings’ shareholders rather than taxpayers should bail out the struggling airline. However, tourism and travel industry executives have warned against the prospect of Qantas having a monopoly on domestic routes if Virgin collapses. Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner says a two-airline system is essential for the nation, while Webjet MD John Guscic says the demise of Virgin would make it harder for the tourism industry to recover. Meanwhile, new figures show that international tourism arrivals fell by 26 per cent in February.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP LIMITED – ASX FLT, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, WEBJET LIMITED – ASX WEB

Qantas monopoly risk if Virgin is allowed to fail, warns boss

Original article by Lucas Baird, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 3-Apr-20

Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah has dismissed suggestions that the struggling airline is seeking a federal government bailout. He argues that the $1.4bn loan facility that Virgin is seeking would have to be repaid eventually. Scurrah also warns that Qantas could emerge with a long-term monopoly in the domestic market if Virgin collapses. The government would allow a new entrant to the market, but CAPA Centre for Aviation chairman Peter Harbison says regulatory approvals would take some time, which would further entrench Qantas’s market dominance.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, CAPA – CENTRE FOR AVIATION

Qantas to announce new cuts by weekend

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 17-Mar-20

Qantas has advised that the new quarantine rules for people travelling to Australia and New Zealand will force it to further reduce capacity on some routes. The airline recently cut capacity on domestic and international routes by five per cent and 23 per cent respectively in response to falling demand for air travel due to the coronavirus. A spokesman for Virgin Australia says the airline is still assessing its response to the new travel restrictions, while Air New Zealand has flagged redundancies and a looming 85 per reduction in international capacity.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AIR NEW ZEALAND LIMITED – ASX AIZ

Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards 2019: Automotive and Airline Winners

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 25-Feb-20

The annual Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards were presented in Melbourne on 18 February. The automotive and airline categories included wins by first-time and past winners, as well as Qantas securing both domestic airline awards. Past award winner Lexus once again secured the Car Manufacturer of the Year award, taking its total to five award wins in the category. Mazda won its first Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award in the new category of Major Car Manufacturer of the Year. Meanwhile, the three airline awards were presented to two winners. Qantas won both the Domestic Airline and Domestic Business Travel Airline categories in convincing fashion while Singapore Airlines put together another strong 12 months, winning the International Airline of the Year category for a sixth time.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, LEXUS AUSTRALIA, MAZDA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, SINGAPORE AIRLINES LIMITED