Virgin Australia’s administrators have determined just Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners will get the chance to lodge binding offers for the stricken airline on June 12.
The decision marks an end to a whirlwind assessment where lead Deloitte administrator Vaughan Strawbridge and his team spent more than 72 hours pouring over indicative bids from five interested parties.
These suitors included shortlisted entities BGH Capital, Bain Capital, Cyrus Capital Partners and the Indigo Partners/Oaktree Capital Management consortium.
Brookfield, which Deloitte excluded from the shortlist after the Toronto-based asset manager withdrew from the formal process with several concerns, also lodged an offer last Friday.
Bain Capital was working with Herbert Smith Freehills, KordaMentha and Goldman Sachs, ex-Jetstar boss Jane Hrdlicka is also involved and likely to take a leadership role in the airline if Bain’s offer is successful.
Bain’s local boss, former Olympic diver Mike Murphy, said the firm wanted to “make flying fun again” if in control.
“We want to bring back the best parts of the Virgin Blue culture,” he said in a statement on May 24. “It will be an airline for all Australians, with Australian management and staff, funded by significant Australian money, and Bain Capital.”
Meanwhile, Cyrus Capital Partners is a US-based investor, which was a cornerstone investor in the creation of the now-defunct Virgin America airline.
Little is known about its bid, but The Australian Financial Review understands its pitch to unions last week included broad similarities to that of Virgin Australia management’s relaunch plan presented to bidders.
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