Five months after receiving a fresh £160m capital, Virgin Atlantic is set to list on the London Sock Exchange.
Virgin Atlantic which was launched in 1984, according to reports has hired Barclays and Citi to oversee the listing.
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group with 51% stake has the controlling share, while United States Delta Airline owns 41%. He could relinquish his overall control of the business, if Virgin Atlantic goes public unless he elects to subscribe for new equity in the IPO.
Institutional investors have responded positively to the airline’s initial public offering, Sky News reports. Virgin Atlantic has been holding talks with institutional investors.
Virgin Atlantic has been among the industry’s worst-hit by the pandemic, largely because of its dependence on lucrative UK-US flights.
A £1.2bn rescue package was raised last September by the airline which included a £200m injection from its founder, a loan from the American hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management, and substantial contributions from existing creditors.
Virgin Atlantic had sort a total of about £300m more rescue package in two instalments which was achieved by the sale of several Dreamliner aircraft and a further loan from Virgin Group.
Executives of Virgin Atlantic including Branson are said to favour the idea of public offering to provide financial buffer ahead of post-COVID recovery and beyond.
Since the start of the pandemic, Virgin Atlantic has trimmed its workforce to nearly half its size for longer-term cost saving.
International Airlines Group, easyJet, Ryanair, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific are all publicly traded aviation companies.