Branson on hunt for equity partner
April 7th, 2011 by elisa

Sir Richard Branson is on the hunt for an equity partner for Virgin Atlantic Airways.  He looks likely to sell down a 51 percent stake in the airline and has hired Deutsche Bank AG to discuss options.

“I will certainly still be extremely involved in the airline, whatever we decide to do, and I will still be a major shareholder. We are in discussions with various people and will see what comes out of it,” he said.

Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines, which owns 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic, said that it hadn’t made a decision about any “immediate divestment” of its stake.

Potential buyers would get popular extra slots to add flights to US and Asian business markets as Virgin has 288 takeoff and landing slots at Heathrow – three percent of the total.

Virgin Atlantic is also looking at joining an airline alliance with details expected to be announced in the next few months.

“It makes sense for Virgin Atlantic to have a partner,” Branson said in an interview in San Francisco, reported by Bloomberg.


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