Sir Richard could cut Virgin Atlantic stake to aid alliance search
Virgin Atlantic President Sir Richard Branson said he is prepared to reduce his stake in Virgin Atlantic if it would aid the carrier’s search for an alliance partner (Bloomberg, 16-Jun-2011). Sir Richard, who holds 51% of Virgin Atlantic stock, added that he’ll will always be a “major shareholder" and his preferred option is for Singapore Airlines to reduce its 49% holding. Singapore Airlines has recently confirmed it is open to bids for the stake.
Virgin Atlantic: “We would want to continue our strong distinctive identity. The attraction of Virgin Atlantic is its brand and personality, so I don’t know why we would let it get eclipsed or why anyone would want it to be eclipsed. We’ve got a very special position and reputation in the markets we’re in.” Steve Ridgeway, CEO. Source: Bloomberg, 16-Jun-2011.