The unions warned the deal with the Australian Virgin could fail without a stake
Jamie Smyth in Sydney
Australian trade unions have warned that Australian Virgin’s planned sale could collapse unless the government agrees to buy a stake in the troubled plane to reassure four private equity suitors about the future. .
The Transport Workers Union said Friday that Canberra should follow the example of the German government, which is correcting a € 9bn Covid-19 rescue package that would see a 25 per cent stake in Lufthansa.
The appeal follows a warning from the trustee that the Virgin may run out of money if the sale process extends to the end of June and there may be a need for additional “temporary funding”; before any new owners can take control. .
“So far the administration has popped up some good bids but without the assurance of the federal government here bidders can walk as well, already,” said Michael Kaine, national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, with referencing a decision by Canadian investor Brookfield to withdraw – at least temporarily – from the bidding process.
Mr. Kaine said Australia was one of the world’s most dependent nations on air travel, but unlike many Canberra global governments, it was only the role of an observer in the ruling Virgin administration. of the risks of the process failing.
Last month the board of directors of Virgin had put the airline in charge of debts of nearly A $ 7bn ($ 4.6bn), while Covid-19 travel restrictions underpinned most flights to all over Australia.
Four private equity suitors have been listed by administrators Deloitte to submit bids for the airline – BGH Capital, Indigo Partners, Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners. But people close to the bidding process have warned of the complexity due to the difficulty in valuing an airline without knowing when international, or even statewide, travel to Australia can continue.
Canberra has appointed an observer to the administration but has so far balked at verifying any cash.