Aviation

Virgin Blue co-founder and former execs back bondholders’ bid for Virgin Australia

Five former Virgin Blue airline executives have been revealed as the specialist industry advisors supporting the bondholders’ bid for Virgin Australia.

Led by Virgin Blue Airline Group co-founder Rob Sherrard and founding executive Bruce Highfield, the team includes former chief financial officer Manny Gill, former general manager of network operations Andrew Lillyman and former general manager of public affairs Heather Jeffery.

Following months of preparation and two rejections by administrators Deloitte, significant bondholders Broad Peak Investment Advisors and Tor Investments filed documents in the New South Wales Federal Court on Tuesday.

They are seeking orders to get the information and access to stakeholders, that has been denied to them thus far, so that they can finalise the alternative proposal and deed of company arrangement (DOCA) and put it to employees and creditors in time for voting at the second meeting of creditors of Virgin Australia on 4 September.

The airline’s administrators have already accepted the DOCA proposed by private equity firm Bain Capital, who has been busy laying out its blueprint for Virgin Mark II.

However, with the Federal Court recently ruling that the bondholders are well within their right to make a play for the beleaguered airline, there is still a chance that Bain could be pipped at the post.

“In simple terms, we are proud investors and supporters of Virgin Australia and its people,” Sherrard said.

“We believe in the airline, firmly support the vision of management and are confident that Virgin can return to being a successful airline.”

The bondholders comprise close to 6,000 ‘mum and dad’ retail noteholders and more than 30 institutions, who have collectively invested $2 billion in Virgin Australia over the past six years, to help the airline grow.

“Under our plan, Virgin Australia would remain a majority Australian-owned public company, listed on the ASX as opposed to the asset of a privately-owned investment company based in the USA,” Sherrard said.

“We firmly believe our founders and bondholders proposal will result in the best return for all creditors and employees.

“We also want to be very clear that we don’t want to run the airline. That is the job of the existing management team. We are focused on rebuilding our airline through a solid recapitalisation proposal.”

Thirteen institutions, including several large global banks and asset managers, as well as a large number of retail bondholders, have already indicated their support for the bondholders’ proposal.

“We are very keen to speak with employees and engage with the employee unions on the details of our proposal as soon as possible,” Sherrard said.

“Currently under the terms of the Virgin Australia administration, we have not been able to do so.”

There are no plans to rename or rebrand the airline under the bondholders’ proposal.

The NSW Federal Court is expected to hand down its decision on Monday.


Featured image source: iStock/Christopher Malek


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Tasmania reveals reopening date to Australia’s mainland

The Apple Isle is getting ready to throw open its borders, which is sure to have mainlanders throwing their hands up in the air and yelling ‘yahoo!’

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

International carriers set Aussie return dates, as Qantas brings forward overseas restart for Melbourne

The increased clarity around border openings as Australia’s vaccinated population grows has given overseas airlines the opportunity to set return dates, with a spate promising to return earlier than expected.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Destination NSW launches spectacular ‘Feel New’ campaign

Featuring some very flash TV spots, the campaign highlights the state’s natural and cultural offerings, and it’s pretty bloody captivating.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Intrepid to open “hybrid hotels” across Australia and NZ through new joint venture

Intrepid has taken its first step into the hospitality market with the promise of some pretty snazzy hybrid hotels. Wondering what the heck a hybrid hotel is? Find out here.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Austria: Where culture meets scenery

Whether your clients are eager to get their culture fix, strap on their hiking boots or race down the slopes, in Austria, they can get it all.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld’s revenue and TTV soar during September quarter

For full transparency, some of these financial figures are unaudited, but let’s not let that take away from Helloworld’s strong recovery.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

ScoMo says Australia-Singapore travel bubble to form “within the next week or so”

Our editor is loving this bubble talk so much that he’s decided to celebrate by having a bubble bath while enjoying a bubble tea.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to launch Sydney-Dehli route, moves start date forward for select overseas flights

The national carrier also said it plans to bring back around 11,000 stood-down workers a whopping six months earlier than expected.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Golden Horizon, the world’s biggest sailing ship, cancels its Aussie debut

Tradewind Voyages is the latest cruise line to axe its Aussie sailings after growing tired of waiting for the federal government to get its sh*t together.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Flight Centre-owned DMC Discova recruits new global marketing manager

The destination management company has Discova-d its new global marketing manager. Get it? (Sorry, that was a pretty cringeworthy effort).

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Four must-dos in Flanders

With charming cities, a rich history and artistic masterpieces (not to mention an unparalleled beer culture), there’s a lot to love about the northern Belgium region.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WA lets slip plan to mandate COVID-19 jabs for all interstate travellers

Mark McGowan has been forced to do a bit of explaining after WA’s health department appeared to accidentally release details of its mandatory vaccine plan for all interstate visitors.

Share

CommentComments