Richard Branson is racing to find investors for his airline business, Virgin Atlantic. The businessman and philanthropist is said to have put the company up on the market after the UK government failed to provide him with a £500 million (~RM2.7 billion) loan he had initially requested.
To be clear, Branson isn’t looking to sell Virgin Atlantic entirely. Like almost all airlines that are directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that the man is simply looking to increase the number of investors and investments. In order to keep the brand afloat in these fluid times.
The task of finding investors is a daunting one, especially when one takes a deep dive into Virgin Atlantic’s profitability; in the last decade, the company has only posted profits 3 times within the last decade, accumulating losses of £211 million (~RM1.14 billion). In comparison to its rival, British Airways, the UK national carrier made a profit of £10 billion (~RM54 billion) in that same period.
Of course, gaining new investors for Virgin Atlantic isn’t without its own issues, at least for Branson. Gaining new investors means that Branson would have to give a portion of his shares in the brand to them, thus reducing the 51% stake he currently holds over the company.