UK media reported on Sunday that Sir Richard Branson was seeking a buyer for Virgin Atlantic, according to information obtained by The Telegraph.
According to the Telegraph report, some fifty potential investors had been informed of the terms of the sale.
However, in response, Virgin Atlantic has said it is still in “ongoing and constructive” talks with the UK government about a coronavirus-related bailout, adding that the group is also looking at raising cash from the private sector.
“Virgin Group is providing liquidity to help support its companies and save jobs. Richard and the Virgin Group are committed to the airline, and are not looking to sell Virgin Atlantic,” a spokesperson told The Brussels Times in an emailed statement. “They recognise that further investment will be necessary to make up for the total loss of revenue due to Covid-19 and are working with Houlihan Lokey to approach private investors about the investment opportunity.”
Last week Richard Branson declared that due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, state aid would be necessary for the survival of the airline.
According to the British daily, the airline’s request for 570 million euros in financial support has been rejected by the British government.
In the open letter, Branson also tried to reassure that he would do everything to keep the company operational.
Virgin Atlantic was founded in 1984 and currently employs over 8,500 people.
The airline operates long-haul flights to North and Central America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
The Brussels Times
Update: This story has been updated to include reaction by Virgin Atlantic