- IndiGo promoter Rahul Bhatia-owned IGE Pvt Ltd submitted bid documents for bankrupt Virgin Australia during the first round of sales process
IndiGo promoter Rahul Bhatia-owned IGE Pvt Ltd submitted bid documents for bankrupt Virgin Australia during the first round of sales process that ended Friday, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Mint.
IGE, which has access to Virgin Australia’s data space, will now review the airline’s submission of bids, the individual said, calling for anonymity.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, cash-strapped Virgin Atlantic Australia launched its operations last month.
The airline, the second largest in Australia, had hired Deloitte last month to manage its voluntary management after the government declined to bail out the debt-ridden carrier.
On Friday, an IGE Group spokesperson said the Rahul Bhatia-controlled firm would participate in Virgin Australia’s selling process without further elaboration.
“As with (to) Virgin Australia, InterGlobe Enterprises has entered an agreement to engage in the sale process and is bound by that agreement’s confidentiality provisions,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“At this stage, we can not say anything more,” the spokesperson added.
The IGE Group, controlled by Rahul Bhatia, currently holds more than a 38 percent stake in India’s largest domestic airline IndiGo. However, the proposal put forward by Bhatia does not involve IndiGo airlines. This will also be a rare instance of an Indian airline supporter party vying for a famous international air carrier.
However, IGE has not revealed that it is working with other potential bidders to pick up a stake in Virgin Australia. Rahul Bhatia has not replied to the question from Mint.
Virgin Australia’s first round of bidding closed Friday evening. Other parties are known to be in the airline’s sale process, apart from IGE Group, include private equity firms BGH Capital, global investment giants Bain Capital, Brookfield, and Oaktree Capital Management, Macquarie Group, Indigo Partners, and three Australian states; Queensland, NSW, and Victoria, recently reported Financial Review.
Several Australian media outlets reported on Friday that there are eight possible bidders for the airline, which will be shortlisted to three potential applicants by early next week, citing Vaughan Strawbridge, Virgin Australia ‘s lead administrator for Deloitte.
According to an affidavit released by Australia’s Federal Court earlier this week, 19 parties were involved in buying the airline that entered voluntary administration last month and was given access to a data room following the signing of confidentiality agreements.