Big player in Virgin bid reveals head quarters preference
A high-powered consortium bidding for Virgin has told unions it wants to keep the grounded airline headquartered in Brisbane.
On the eve of the airline's administrator cutting potential bidders from four to two, Cyrus Capital Partners has told the unions representing employee creditors it wants to keep Virgin in Queensland, dependent on State Government sweeteners.
Cyrus Capital is understood to have met with the ACTU and unions representing Virgin employees this week and made their pitch to employees as a bloc of creditors.
Virgin Australia collapsed into administration in April with debts totalling almost $7 billion.
Four bidders are in the running to take on the Queensland carrier - Bain Capital, BGH Capital, Indigo Partners and Cyrus Capital Partners.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the State Government wanted Virgin to remain in Queensland.
"Throughout this process, the Palaszczuk Government has had a clear objective - protecting the jobs of thousands of Virgin workers in Brisbane and throughout Queensland," Mr Dick said.
"The simplest and best way for the administrators to keep Virgin flying is to keep it flying out of Queensland - we encourage them to do that."
In its meeting with the ACTU representing Virgin employees, Cyrus Capital has told the union body it wants to work with the Queensland Government to keep Virgin Airlines head office in Brisbane.
Sources close to the bid say that Cyrus see the offer as a way to minimise disruption and relocation to the existing workforce, and to get Virgin planes back in the sky sooner.
Cyrus Capital is an experienced aviation investor, most recently buying into troubled European airline Flybe with Virgin and its founder Sir Richard Branson.
They are one of the four bidders looking to buy Virgin Australia. All four bidders have been meeting with creditors this week, and meeting with QIC who are managing the Queensland Government's negotiation with bidders.
Originally published as Big player in Virgin bid reveals HQ preference