Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airline Rescued in $1.5 Billion Deal

Three months ago, in the heart of the coronacrisis, Sir Richard Branson -- Britain's seventh richest man -- pleaded with the British government to save his Virgin Atlantic airline with a $621 million bailout plan.

Britain declined.

Branson, at wit's end, began casting about for any way to save his company, liquidating shares of space start-up Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) one day, attempting to mortgage his private Caribbean island the next.

Today, his efforts finally bore fruit.

Virgin Atlantic flight crew wearing personal protective equipment next to a Virgin Atlantic airplane.

Image source: Virgin Atlantic.

As the BBC just reported, Branson and Virgin Atlantic have struck a £1.2 billion (that's $1.5 billion) deal to rescue the embattled airline. Full details on the bailout package, termed a "solvent recapitalization," haven't been released, and the deal must be approved by the company's creditors before it can be finalized. 

Still, we know now that if all goes as planned, Branson himself will contribute £200 million ($251 million) to the bailout. US hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management will contribute £170 million ($213 million) more. And creditors of the company will postpone demands for repayment of loans worth another £450 million ($565 million), refinancing those debts to be repaid over a period of five years. By that time, Virgin Atlantic expects the recession to have ended and the coronacrisis to have passed, with Virgin resuming earning profits by 2022.

In the meantime, Virgin Atlantic will be laying off 3,500 of its 10,000 workers to help it stay afloat.

And in case you were wondering, according to the BBC, thanks to this bailout package, there will be no need for Sir Richard to mortgage his island.

10 stocks we like better than Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks


*Stock Advisor returns as of June 2, 2020


Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.