The final bids for Virgin Australia from Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners are in plus there is a wildcard bid from bondholders in the wings.
The Deloitte administrators Vaughan Strawbridge said in a statement:
“With aviation around the world in the middle of a COVID-induced restricted operations, today we’ve reached another important milestone in our rigorous and competitive sale process, with Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners submitting their final, and binding offers.
“Both have previously flagged some of their thinking around a future-state carrier publicly, including operating a smaller, single-branded domestic and short-haul international airline that also has growth potential. Ultimately the size of the airline will be dependent on the timing and level of demand by customers as travel restrictions are eased.
“Since confirming them as our preferred bidders, we, our advisors and the Virgin Management team have spent the last three weeks working closely with their teams, to enable them to complete their due diligence and be in a position to submit their offers today.
“They’ve also engaged closely with the range of groups that have an interest in the outcome of the process, from federal and state governments and unions to creditor groups that include airports and aircraft financiers.
“As I’ve previously said, both Bain and Cyrus have done an enormous amount of work to get here today, are well-funded and are enthusiastic supporters and see real value in this business going forward.
“On the basis of their public statements, both bidders are committed to seeing a strong, competitive and sustainable Virgin Australia operating into the future, employing many thousands of Australians, and supporting the tourism industry and state and national economies.
“Both bidders have also already received FIRB approval, and we would like to acknowledge the assistance of the federal government on this front.”
In a wild-card move, bondholders are expected to put forward a multi-billion-dollar recapitalization plan for the airline later this week proposing a debt for equity swap to become Virgin’s new shareholders.