Shock withdrawal rocks Qld’s bid to relaunch Virgin

QUEENSLAND'S preferred partner in a joint-bid to invest in Virgin Australia has sensationally withdrawn from the race as four 'credible' parties make the cut to purchase the airline.

Canadian investment company Brookfield, understood to initially be Queensland's preferred partner, was reported to have pulled out of the process overnight after lodging a non-binding bid on Friday.

Brookfield's decision has created uncertainty around how Queensland Investment Corporation progresses its plan on behalf of the State Government, but a spokesman for QIC revealed it would "continue to engage with all parties about the potential to join a consortium for the next stage".

 

A shortlist of four bidders for the troubled airline Virgin Australia has been released. Picture: Dan Himbrechts
A shortlist of four bidders for the troubled airline Virgin Australia has been released. Picture: Dan Himbrechts

"QIC will be providing its client with commercial advice about the potential bid and the best way to achieve its broader economic objectives, particularly maintaining Virgin's headquarters in Queensland," he said.

Administrators Deloitte revealed this morning the shortlist, which is understood to be Bain Capital, BGH Capital, Indigo Partners and Cyrus Capital Partners.

Lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge praised the "strength" of the well-funded and experienced shortlist bidders.

"Importantly, each has a plan for the business which can secure the future for thousands of Virgin Australia employees," he said.

"These parties enable us to seek the best available commercial solution which we are all looking for, while meeting our responsibility to maximise the outcome for creditors and see the airline continue as one of the country's two carriers serving Australians across cities and regions."

Deloitte revealed it had received more interest than anticipated and will work with short-listed bidders over the next four weeks to enable binding offers by mid-June.

"This will involve the sharing of more detailed financial and operational information, management workshops and meeting with as many of the financiers, landlords, suppliers, unions and other stakeholders of the business as possible," Mr Strawbridge said.

Originally published as Shock withdrawal rocks Qld's bid to relaunch Virgin


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