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Twiggy misses the cut for Virgin but Branson may still have a chance

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Administrators to the collapsed Virgin Australia have narrowed down 19 bidders for the company to a shortlist of four.

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The AFR was reporting the four were Bain Capital, BGH Capital, Indigo and Cyrus Capital. Deloitte would not comment on who the shortlisted parties were due to confidentiality commitments.

Lead Aministrator Vaughan Strawbridge said the final four were “well funded and possessing deep aviation experience”.

“We will be working intensely with them over the next four weeks to enable binding offers by mid-June,” he said.

Sir Richard Branson may still be in the bidding because of his previous links to Cyprus Capital, but Perth businessman Andrew Forrest was nowhere to be seen. Neither was the highly fancied Brookfield. Branson also has a close association with Bain.

“The parties have also worked constructively with the administration process and put forward credible indicative bids. Importantly, each has a plan for the business which can secure the future for thousands of Virgin Australia employees,” Strawbridge 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.

“The process we have undertaken is an expedited sale process encouraging strong competition for these valuable assets, but one that is necessary to ensure the business is restructured as soon as possible, so that it can remain a competitive force in the market and begin more normal operations as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow.

“We have been very pleased with the progress of the administration and sale process to date, with excellent engagement from highly credentialed parties who have worked tirelessly to be in a position to put forward indicative proposals for the future of Virgin Australia.

“This has been very important to ensure not only the future employment of so many passionate members of the Virgin team, but the future of Australia’s second domestic airline which is in the national interest of Australia.

“We received more interest than anticipated from parties who are eager to be a part of the future of Virgin Australia.”

Virgin collapsed earlier this year with debts of almost $7 billion.

The Queensland Government’s investment arm QIC is hoping to join one of the consortia to enable the company to remain in Brisbane.

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