BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Monday, 19 November, 2001, 06:19 GMT
Branson mulls Virgin Blue sale
Virgin Blue
Selling a majority stake would give Virgin permission to fly across the Tasman Sea
Sir Richard Branson is considering the sale of a majority stake in his Australian airline, Virgin Blue, according to the company's chief executive, Brett Godfrey.

Any proceeds from such a sale are likely to be ploughed into Virgin's burgeoning mobile phones business.

Talks have been held with up to a dozen interested buyers, Mr Godfrey said in an interview with Australian television.

Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson's airline has become the second largest in Australia
The stake in the low cost airline, now the second largest airline in Australia after Air New Zealand's Aussie subsidiary Ansett's recent collapse, may be sold next year, he said.

Virgin Blue had already signalled that a 49% stake in the carrier was up for grabs, but it has not previously expressed a willingness to give up control.

"From my point of view and from the company's point of view that would be a good thing and by that I mean Richard is open to that idea. He doesn't have to have control," Mr Godfrey told the Nine Network's Business Sunday programme.

However, Mr Godfrey insisted that the sale of a 49% stake remained its favoured option.

New Zealand

The sale would raise cash for other Virgin brands, including the airline Virgin Atlantic and the company's US mobile phone venture.

In addition, a sale of a majority stake would convert the carrier's status from foreign owned to Australian owned.

That would enable it to serve the lucrative trans-Tasman route between Australia and New Zealand.

See also:

18 Oct 01 | Business
Virgin sheds Our Price stores
16 May 01 | Business
Branson raises trans-Tasman stakes
01 May 01 | Business
Airlines clash down under
31 Aug 00 | Business
Virgin Blue takes off down under
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories