Private equity firm Bain Capital would bring back some of the Virgin Blue vibe to Virgin Australia if its bid to take over the failed airline is successful.
Bain Capital's run at Virgin Australia just got more serious.
Hot on the heels of its public statement listing its credentials to own Virgin Australia, the private equity group has called in some heavyweight bankers to help prepare and fund its offer.
Bain is one of the four firms shortlisted by Virgin Australia administrator Deloitte, alongside the "Team Australia" consortium of BGH Capital and AustralianSuper, Arizona-based airline investor and LCC champion Indigo Partners, and former Branson partner in New York-based Cyrus Capital Partners.
Bain has confirmed it is preparing "a second-round proposal to become the owner and operator of Virgin Australia", with a heavy-hitting team of specialists and advisors including former Jetstar CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who was once tipped as a future CEO of Qantas and could potentially become the new CEO of the new Virgin Australia.
“We have the strength to rebuild an airline which Australians can be confident in - an airline which will meet their needs," Murphy said in a statement issued to media as Bain strutted both its credentials and its commitment in the high-stakes takeover.
Bain's Virgin 2.0 "will be an airline for all Australians, with Australian management and staff, funded by significant Australian money, and Bain Capital, which has been investing in Australia for more than 20 years."
"Under our ownership, Virgin Australia will have a sustainable, long-term future," Murphy concluded.
Deloitte is expected to trim the shortlist to an even shorter list in early June after reviewing each bidder's second-round pitch, with two consortia – which may include Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and the Queensland Government – presenting a "firm and binding offer" for the airline by June 12.
Lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge had said he is "confident that our target of achieving a sale by the end of June is achievable."
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