Enters Voluntary Administration.
Dateline: April 21, 2020.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (ASX: VAH) (Virgin Australia Group or Group) has entered voluntary administration to recapitalise the business and help ensure it emerges in a stronger financial position on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Group’s Board of Directors has appointed Vaughan Strawbridge, John Greig, Sal Algeri and Richard Hughes of Deloitte as voluntary administrators of the company and a number of its subsidiaries. Velocity Frequent Flyer, while owned by the Group, is a separate company and is not in administration.
Virgin Australia will continue to operate its scheduled international and domestic flights which are helping to transport essential workers, maintain important freight corridors, and return Australians home. The administrators will be supported by the Group’s current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer Paul Scurrah, and will work closely with team members, suppliers, and partners throughout the process.
"We are committed to working with Paul and the Virgin Australia team and are progressing well on some immediate steps. We have commenced a process of seeking interest from parties for participation in the recapitalisation of the business and its future, and there have been several expressions of interest so far,” said Mr Strawbridge.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer, Paul Scurrah, said: “Our decision today is about securing the future of the Virgin Australia Group and emerging on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.
“In 20 years, the Virgin Australia Group has earned its place as part of the fabric of Australia’s tourism industry. We employ more than 10,000 people and a further 6,000 indirectly, fly to 41 destinations including major cities and regional communities, have more than 10 million members of our Velocity loyalty program, and contribute around $11 billion to the Australian economy every year,” said Mr Scurrah.
“Australia needs a second airline and we are determined to keep flying. Virgin Australia will play a vital role in getting the Australian economy back on its feet after the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring the country has access to competitive and high-quality air travel.”
The Board of Directors regret that these events have come to pass and acknowledge all the Group’s employees for their hard work and contribution. The COVID-19 pandemic came as the Group was progressing on a significant transformation program to reset its cost base including consolidating its workforce, simplifying the fleet, withdrawing from unprofitable routes and reviewing and renegotiating supplier agreements.
Dateline: September 04, 2020.
The Administrators of the Virgin Australia Group (Vaughan Strawbridge, John Greig, Sal Algeri and Richard Hughes – all Deloitte Restructuring Services partners) have confirmed the outcome of the second meeting of creditors held today.
With the meeting conducted online, creditors accepted 10 separate deeds of company arrangement (DOCAs) covering all 41 of the entities in voluntary administration as proposed by BC Hart Aggregator, LP (Bain Capital). It was the Administrators opinion that approving the DOCAS was in the best interest of all creditors.
The DOCAs will be signed, and completed, within 15 business days of today’s date.
The Bain Capital DOCAs, now formally approved by creditors, provides for:
• Unsecured creditors receiving between 13 and 9 cents in the dollar on their claims (from a pool of funds of between $462 million and $612 million)
Once the DOCAs are signed the Administrators will make an application to the Federal Court for the transfer of the shares in VAH to Bain Capital. The DOCAs cannot be successfully completed until the Court approves share transfer.
With the transfer of shares, expected to be completed by 31 October 2020, a proposed Creditors’ Trust will be created to adjudicate claims and pay distributions to the Virgin Group creditors. The Voluntary Administrators will also act as Deed Administrators of the DOCAs and then as Trustees of the Creditors Trust. The timing of the payment of the dividend being to creditors has been estimated at between six and nine months from completion of the sale transaction.
Joint Voluntary Administrator Vaughan Strawbridge, and Deloitte Restructuring Services partner, said: “Our role as Voluntary Administrators is always a challenging one, and inevitably undertaken in challenging circumstances. That has certainly been the case here.
“Since our appointment on 20 April, we have worked hard to deliver the best possible outcome for all creditors and today they have overwhelmingly voted to support our opinion that it is in their interest to approve the DOCAs proposed by Bain Capital.
"This outcome provides certainty for employees and customers, a return to creditors, opportunities for suppliers and financiers to continue to trade with the Virgin Australia Group as well as maintaining a competitive Australian aviation industry for the benefit of consumers.
“While the outcome of the meeting today is a significant milestone for both the future of Virgin Australia and Australia’s aviation industry more broadly, we also acknowledge those loyal Virgin Australia Group employees who will lose their jobs and the difficulties that this will cause them and their families as well as the numerous suppliers and investors who will not receive all of the monies owed to them.
“The outcome has also been achieved due to the incredible support from Virgin management and staff, unions who have played an important part in securing the future jobs for so many of their members, financiers, service providers, trade suppliers, and other key stakeholders including the federal government.
"There is still a lot of work to do to complete the restructuring of the airline and complete the sale transaction before the business is ready to emerge from Voluntary Administration under Bain Capital’s ownership.”
“It’s vital for Australia to have two major airlines for consumer choice, value airfares and to help support the recovery of Australia’s robust tourism sector after this crisis is over.
“While we can feel very proud that we have got to this point, the impact of COVID-19 remains very challenging for our business and industry. These are tough times and we must remain focused and adapt to this new environment.
“It’s been an incredibly tough journey for our people and they should be commended for how they have handled themselves. I’m pleased today gives us some more certainty around the company’s future.”