Branson commences strategic review of Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic Chairman, Sir Richard Branson, confirmed the airline has hired Deutsche Bank to examine strategic options for the airline (Telegraph/Business Travel News/Daily Mail/Travel Trade Gazette, 05-Nov-2010). Virgin Atlantic, which is 51% owned by the Virgin Group, has asked Deutsche Bank to study the airline's market position after British Airways' recent tie-up with American Airlines and Iberia, which Sir Richard was firmly against. The work involved includes assessing how Sir Richard can maximise the value of the airline, which is valued at somewhere between GBP500 million and GBP1 billion. One option identified would see Virgin sell down its stake in the airline and become part of a wider airline grouping. Virgin Atlantic, which holds 3% of Heathrow’s slots, is not a member of any airline alliance.