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 AirAsia Boss May Buy Virgin Atlantic - Report

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PostSubject: AirAsia Boss May Buy Virgin Atlantic - Report   Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:11 pm

December 26, 2010
The chief executive of Malaysia's AirAsia is considering a possible takeover bid for British airline Virgin Atlantic, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

Tony Fernandes, who runs Asia's largest budget carrier by fleet size, has renewed his interest in the UK airline after previously considering and deciding against a bid, the newspaper said in an unsourced report.

Any deal could be worth up to GBP£1 billion (USD$1.54 billion), it said.

British billionaire Richard Branson has a 51 percent stake in the airline he founded in 1984. Singapore Airlines paid GBP£600 million for a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic in 2000.

The UK airline said earlier this month it had received several "lines of enquiry" about tie-ups with rivals after it hired Deutsche Bank to assess the aviation market.

It said the bank's review was expected to last for several months and did not name those interested in a possible tie-up.

Increased competition from low-cost airlines, weak demand and high fuel prices have combined to squeeze many carriers in recent years.

The low-margin industry has gone through a period of rapid consolidation and analysts believe larger carriers such as Virgin Atlantic need partners to stay ahead of the competition.

(Reuters)

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PostSubject: Re: AirAsia Boss May Buy Virgin Atlantic - Report   Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:17 pm

AirAsia boss says no plan to buy Virgin

Fernandes denies discussions are taking place

LONDON: AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes denies there are any plan to buy a stake in British airline Virgin Atlantic as reported by the Sunday Times newspaper.

There are no discussions taking place, he told StarBiz from London yesterday.

Asked why there was such speculation, he replied: I have no idea.

The Sunday Times said in an unsourced report yesterday that Fernandes, who runs Asias largest budget carrier by fleet size, had renewed his interest in the UK airline after previously considering and deciding against a bid.

Any deal could be worth up to 1bil, the newspaper said.

British billionaire Richard Branson has a 51% stake in the airline he founded in 1984.

Singapore Airlines paid 600mil for a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic in 2000.

Reuters reported that the UK airline said earlier this month it had received several lines of enquiry about tie-ups with rivals after it hired Deutsche Bank to assess the aviation market.

It said the banks review was expected to last for several months and did not name those interested in a possible tie-up.

Increased competition from lowcost airlines, weak demand and high fuel prices have combined to squeeze many carriers in recent years.

The low-margin industry has gone through a period of rapid consolidation and Reuters said analysts believed larger carriers such as Virgin Atlantic needed partners to stay ahead of the competition.

Source : The Star
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