Telling the truth about SME life today

Rivals circle around Virgin Atlantic

Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines have joined forces in seeking Richard Branson’s 51 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Reports say that Delta and Air France-KLM have together commissioned analysts from Goldman Sachs to advise on the possible acquisition of the majority share of Virgin Atlantic, which is estimated to be valued anywhere from £500m to £1bn.

Last November, Richard Branson hired Deutsche Bank to evaluate strategic options for Virgin Atlantic, which has seen some trouble and has failed to yet join a major alliance.

Among options reportedly advised to Richard Branson were to begin codeshares via a partnership with another carrier, join an alliance or relinquish dominant power of the airline. The option to sell-off the 49 per cent share in Virgin Atlantic held by Singapore Airlines, which it had acquired in 1999 for £600m, is also under consideration.

The Air France-KLM and Delta consortium is likely to go head-to-head with Etihad Airways. The airline, owned by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi, is said to have drafted in Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise it on a possible deal.

Virgin says: “Virgin Atlantic is a strong, independent business with a good growth position at both London Heathrow and Gatwick, so we are not surprised there is interest in us.”

Richard Branson founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984.


Related Stories

More From


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!