Virgin Australia Creditors to Lose Almost the Lot Under Bain

For a fresh perspective on the stories that matter for Australian business and politics,sign up for our new weekly newsletter.

Unsecured creditors ofVirgin Australia Holdings Ltd. will lose almost all their money under a deal to sell the collapsed airline to private equity firm Bain Capital.

The average return to those creditors will be between 9% and 13%, and even less if the proposed deal is voted down, administrator Deloitte said in a report Tuesday. Shareholders including marquee names such asSingapore Airlines Ltd. andEtihad Airways PJSC are getting nothing.

Priority creditors and employees will be repaid in full, according to the report.Virgin Australia failed in April under A$6.84 billion ($4.9 billion) of debt as coronavirus-related travel restrictions took their toll.

With creditors due to vote on Bain’s takeover proposal next week, Tuesday’s report reveals for the first time the expected hit to lenders. Their losses reflect Virgin’s financial frailty when it went under, as well as the cost of resurrecting an airline in an aviation crisis that shows little sign of relenting.

More on Virgin Australia and aviation’s crisis:
Bain on Hook for $543 Million Break Fee If Virgin Deal Fails
Virgin Australia Creditors Broad Peak, Tor Pull Rescue Proposal
Global Travel on Ice Until Mid-2021, Qantas Chief Joyce Says

Some 6,500 unsecured Virgin bondholders were owed A$1.9 billion, the report showed. Two of them, Broad Peak Investment Advisers and Tor Investment Management, last weekscrapped their own rescue plan for the airline.

Bain’s takeover proposal “provides for the best return to creditors in what are extraordinary circumstances, and that were impossible to foresee,” Deloitte administrator Vaughan Strawbridge said in a statement.

Bain plans to cut a third of Virgin Australia’s 9,000 employees and scale back the airline’s fleet as part of its revival plan. Last week, the U.S. buyout firm revealed it had agreed to pay A$750 million as a break fee should it fail to complete the takeover.

Deloitte says the sale agreed with Bain in June will go ahead no matter how creditors vote on Sept. 4.

If the deal is rejected, Deloitte plans to use its authority as an administrator to push through the agreement as an asset sale. The return to unsecured creditors in that scenario would be between 4% and 7%, Deloitte said Tuesday.

Source: Read Full Article