Virgin Australia to fly again with new US owner Bain Capital

Virgin Australia has been bought by US private equity group Bain Capital after falling into administration due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

The airline was struggling with long-term debt of A$5bn (£2.55bn; $3.17bn) even before the pandemic struck.

Australia’s second biggest carrier had unsuccessfully asked for government loans before its collapse in April.

Virgin Australia is currently owned by a number of major shareholders including Sir Richard Branson.

Administrators for the airline, Deloitte, said on Friday that Bain would become the new owners, with the deal expected to be completed by the end of August.

A statement said Bain supports the airline’s current management team and its turnaround plan for the business. It has also committed to retain thousands of jobs.

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In addition, a “significant injection of capital” would be made to help Virgin Australia recapitalise for the future, according to the statement.

Bain and another US firm, Cyrus Capital Partners, had been in the running to buy the airline before Cyrus pulled out on Friday.

“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,” Deloitte said in the statement.

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