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.