Published on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Monarch's former owner in Virgin Atlantic rescue talks

Greybull Capital, the parent of collapsed airline Monarch, is involved in a possible rescue deal for Virgin Atlantic.

The investment firm is discussing a making a joint offer to the airline with US-based hedge fund Elliott, according to Sky News.

Quoting unnamed city sources, it said Elliott and Greybull were competing against other funds, thought to include Davidson Kempner Capital Management, to secure a deal.

Greybull and Elliott were previously joint investors in Comet, an electrical goods chain that failed almost 10 years ago.

Virgin Atlantic is looking to raise more than £500 million and has set the end of the month as a deadline for reaching an outline agreement.

It has been discussing a possible rescue package with the Government since the UK went into lockdown, forcing it to ground most of its fleet.

However, the Government has indicated that it isn't prepared to risk taxpayers' money on Virgin based on its current business plan.

Sky News revealed last month that Virgin Atlantic had lined up Alvarez & Marsal, a professional services firm, to act as administrator if it's unable to pull off a rescue deal.

The airline recently announced it was making more than 3,000 staff redundant due to the drop in air travel. It has also pulled out of Gatwick Airport, but plans to resume flights from Heathrow next month.

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson plans to pump $500 million into his businesses, including Virgin Atlantic, after selling his stake in space flight company Virgin Galactic.

He has also mooted remortgaging his Caribbean island Neckar to raise collateral for a Government-backed loan.

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