Capital raising won't change control: Virgin

Chatfield tells AGM $350m raising won't result in change of control, says legal team contacted about 'false accusations'.

Virgin Australia Holdings (VAH) says there will be no change in control as a result of the $350 million capital raising announced last week that will see a trio of foreign partners increase their stake in the airline.

Chairman Neil Chatfield told shareholders at the airline's annual general meeting, Virgin Australia’s international business is and will continue to be majority Australian owned and run by an independent Australian Board with its own assets and balance sheet.

"It fully complies with the requirements of the Air Navigation Act," he said.

In a thinly veiled reference to comments made by Qantas Airways (QAN) chief executive officer Alan Joyce lashing out at Virgin's raising, Mr Chatfield said while he was not going to "waste any more of our shareholders’ time" with false accusations, " let me assure you that we have instructed legal advisors to act for us in dealing with this matter."

Mr Joyce has asked Qantas' 30,000 staff to campaign against foreign ownership, by setting up an online petition against an "unfair playing field" as Virgin issues new shares to raise $350 million from its major shareholders Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways.

The Keating government enacted laws limiting Qantas foreign ownership to 49% when it privatised the airline in 1992.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways would be raising their stake in Virgin Australia from 63% to 70% as it issues new shares.

Unable to provide guidance: Joyce

Chief executive officer John Borghetti then told shareholders the airline had completed the major transformation of its domestic network, with the focus now shifting to "maintaining the flexibility to adjust to changing market demand, while continuing to improve our yield mix by attracting more corporate traffic".

"On this basis, we are not providing guidance on domestic capacity growth beyond the first half of the 2014 financial year," he said.

Mr Borghetti also said Virgin was unable to provide profit guidance for the 2014 financial year given the uncertain economic environment.

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