Virgin Australia seeks $300 mln loan ahead of potential IPO - sources

Credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed

By Praveen Menon and Scott Murdoch

SYDNEY, March 10 (Reuters) - Virgin Australia is seeking a loan of up to A$450 million ($296.4 million) to return money to its private equity owner before the airline's re-listing planned for later this year, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Australia's second largest airline is in talks with banks including Goldman Sachs GS.N and UBS UBSG.S about the loan, said the sources, although no decision has been made yet and the size of the debt has not been finalised.

The sources did not wish to be identified as the discussions were private. The airline's owner Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. UBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bain said in January it would explore re-listing Virgin, which it bought for A$3.5 billion ($2.45 billion) including liabilities in 2020 after it was placed in voluntary administration, the closest Australian equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

It hired Goldman, UBS and Barrenjoey last month as lead managers for the potential initial public offering (IPO).

Virgin is looking to raise at least A$1 billion, the two source said, which would make it the largest share sale in Australia since investment firm GQG Partners GQG.AX raised A$1.18 billion in October 2021.

The sources said the airline, a rival to Qantas Airways Ltd QAN.AX in the domestic market, was expected to seek an equity valuation of at least A$3 billion upon listing.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon and Scott Murdoch; Editing by Anshuman Daga, Shri Navaratnam and Kim Coghill)

((; Reuters Messaging:; Twitter: @Journopraveen))

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

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