Delta Airlines in Talks to Acquire 49 Percent of Virgin Atlantic
Delta Airlines is in talks to buy all or part of Singapore Airline’s 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, according to multiple sources.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports:
‘Virgin, the biggest rival to British Airways at Heathrow, has been seeking partners and in 2010 hired Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) to #$%$ options. A tie-up between Delta and Virgin could improve the U.S. carrier’s access to Europe’s busiest hub and its ability to capture lucrative trans-Atlantic business traffic.
Delta’s European partner in the SkyTeam alliance, Air- France KLM (AF), might also take an additional stake in Virgin, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. The talks are at an early stage and it’s possible no agreement will be reached, one of the people said. Billionaire Richard Branson controls 51 percent of the airline.’
Spokespeople for Delta, Virgin, Air France-KLM and Singapore Airlines declined to comment. The Delta talks were reported earlier today by the London-based Sunday Times.
Singapore Air paid 600.3 million pounds, or about $961 million today, for its Virgin stake in 1999.
Delta is working to increase its share of international business travel and gain more of a foothold at London Heathrow.