DONE DEAL: Bain Capital confirms it has agreed to buy Virgin Australia, promising to ‘protect as many jobs as possible’

  • Virgin Australia has confirmed it has accepted Bain Capital’s offer to buy the airline.
  • In a statement on Friday, Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah said Bain’s bid offered “the best possible future” for the carrier.
  • Bain has promised to retain as many employees as possible.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

An hour after its only rival dropped out of the race, Bain Capital has revealed it has officially agreed to buy Virgin Australia.

The Boston-based private equity firm issued a statement to Business Insider Australia confirming it and the airline had locked up a deal.

“We believe Bain Capital’s proposal offers the best possible future for Virgin Australia, its employees and its customers,” Scurrah said, noting that Bain had won on its “deep understanding of aviation and our culture”.

“We are aligned in our vision for Virgin 2.0 and look forward to working with them to secure the airline’s future.”

Bain says it will now work with stakeholders as it seeks to win the requisite approval from the beleaguered airline’s 12,000 creditors who will vote on it in mid-August.

To do so, it is clearly looking to appease the largest contingent, the airline’s 9,000 workers who are anxiously waiting to hear on the future of their employment.

“We appreciate how difficult the current situation is for Virgin Australia staff. They are the essence of the business, and we thank them for their perseverance through this challenging period,” Bain’s Australia-based managing director Mike Murphy said.

“Our investment and plan for the airline will support and celebrate Virgin Australia’s unique culture and protect as many jobs as possible for the short and medium term in a way that will make significant jobs growth possible.”

In the lead up to the deal, Bain had made significant pledges to employees including the offer of company equity. It confirmed it would retain Scurrah and the extended Virgin Australia management team.

“Paul and his team have done a great job navigating through a difficult situation. We are
backing their plan and will invest to make it even better,” said Barnaby Lyons, head of Bain’s distressed and special situations in the Asia-Pacific.

The announcement comes after Cyrus bowed out earlier on Friday, claiming it had been frozen out of negotiations by the Deloitte administrators in charge.

Lyons appeared to try to throw cold water on the claim, paying special tribute to Vaughan Strawbridge’s team, for “their professional and transparent approach”.

It is the victors, after all, that write history.