Virgin Australia aims for November A$1 billion listing – source

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Bain Capital’s Virgin Australia airline is aiming for a A$1 billion listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in November, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

At that size, the deal would be the largest new share sale in almost two years since GQG Partners raised A$1.18 billion in its listing in October 2021.

U.S.-based Bain said in January it would explore re-listing Virgin, which it bought for A$3.5 billion ($2.45 billion) including liabilities in 2020 after it was placed in voluntary administration, the closest Australian equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The timeline of the deal has fluctuated but the private equity firm is now aiming for a transaction in November, according to the source who could not be named due to the confidential nature of the information.

The final size of the stake that Bain will sell has yet to be decided, the source added, but could be between 30% and 40%.

Virgin’s IPO could value the domestic focused carrier at $A2.5 billion to $A3 billion but the final valuation will be decided after further management and analyst briefings with potential investors.

Reuters has previously reported that Virgin Australia was looking to raise up to A$1 billion in the deal.

Bain Capital declined to comment.

Details of the November timeline were first reported by Bloomberg News on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney; Editing by Bernadette Baum)