- Queensland is rejoicing after the confirmation Virgin Australia’s headquarters would remain in the state.
- When the airline went into voluntary administration in April, both New South Wales and Victoria expressed their interest in being the airline’s new home.
- However, after Virgin accepted a purchase bid from private equity firm Bain Capital, its now clear headquarters will remain in Queensland.
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Virgin Australia is staying in Queensland after receiving a lifeline from US private equity firm Bain Capital.
Earlier on Friday, Virgin confirmed it accepted Bain Capital’s offer to purchase the airline after it went into voluntary administration back in April.
“We believe Bain Capital’s proposal offers the best possible future for Virgin Australia, its employees and its customers,” Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah said.
When the airline first went into administration, there was a battle between Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria over the location of its headquarters. Virgin is headquartered in the sunshine state, but both New South Wales and Victoria were circling after the airline’s collapse.
In April, New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told Sky News that “Virgin should have their headquarters for both Virgin and Tiger in Sydney” – a move criticised by Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick.
Meanwhile the Victorian government reportedly spoke to Australian billionaire Lindsay Fox about moving some of Virgin’s operations to Fox’s Avalon Airport in Victoria.
But with Virgin now accepting the offer from Bain Capital and with an investment from the Queensland government, it looks like the headquarters is staying in the sunshine state.
Dick said in a statement he was happy to see the airline’s headquarters would remain in Queensland, with Queenslanders also able to own an equity stake in the airline as well.
“Queensland is the home of aviation in Australia, and we are thrilled that our investment, a mix of equity and economic incentives, has helped to secure that into the future,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment, facilitated by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), will ensure that Virgin’s headquarters remain in Brisbane, retaining thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”
For Dick, retaining jobs in the state was a key priority.
“Keeping Queensland jobs in Queensland as we deal with the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic is very important,” he said.
Now that Virgin has accepted the bid from Bain Capital, it awaits a final agreement from its creditors in April.