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Virgin Atlantic Completes Financing Transactions for Two Boeing 787 Dreamliners

The company further strengthened their balance sheet by completing financing transactions for two Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The transactions were executed in partnership with Griffin Global Asset management and Bain Capital Credit.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy Boeing

On Friday (January 15, 2021), Virgin Atlantic announced the completion of a financing transaction for two Boeing 787 Dreamliners, further strengthening their balance sheet. The transactions were completed in partnership with Griffin Global Asset Management and Bain Capital Credit will allow the carrier to pay down debt and improve their cash position. Although details of the transactions and terms were not disclosed, they likely involved the sale and leaseback of the aircraft. In Friday’s announcement, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Financial Officer, Oliver Byers, said,

“Since the beginning of the crisis, we have taken decisive action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and protect as many jobs as possible. As provided for in the recent privately funded solvent recapitalization of the airline, we have continued to explore additional financing opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet into the new year. We are proud to be partnering with Griffin on this financing opportunity regarding two of our Boeing 787-900s. Their flexibility and speed has been particularly impressive and we welcome this show of confidence from our new partners. This deal will allow Virgin Atlantic to further bolster our cash position and we are confident that we will emerge a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet.”

Also commenting on the transaction, Griffin Global Asset Management’s Chief Executive Officer, Ryan McKenna, said,

“The Virgin Atlantic team has taken impressive steps to strengthen their business throughout this very challenging period and we are confident that they are positioned to outperform going forward. The Griffin and Bain Capital teams are excited to contribute to Virgin’s success for many years to come.”

Marc Baer, President of Griffin Global Asset Management, added,

“We have had a longstanding relationship with Virgin Atlantic and are very pleased to provide this creative financing solution that will reinforce their strong competitive position in the market. The talent and professionalism of the Virgin Atlantic Team is commendable, and their collaboration with us allowed the transaction to come together expeditiously.”

On September 4, 2020, Virgin Atlantic completed a private solvent recapitalization, with a refinancing package valued at approximately £1.2 billion over the next 18 months. Additionally, the company has taken measures which will save £280 million annually and cut fleet CAPEX by £880 million over the next five years. Company shareholders, Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines, provided around £600 million over the life of the plan, including a £200 million investment from Virgin Group and the deferral of approximately £400 million in shareholder related payments. Virgin Atlantic continues to enjoy support of credit card merchant service providers including Lloyd’s Cardnet, First Data and American Express.

Founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic has brought innovation and the highest level of customer care to the airline industry. The carrier was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX in 2020 for the fourth consecutive year. Headquartered in London, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays employ 6,500 team members worldwide. The airline currently serves 27 destinations across four continents and will operate a highly efficient fleet of 37 next generation twin-engine aircraft by 2022, delivering 10 percent savings. Virgin Atlantic operates a leading network between the US and UK, with onward connections to over 200 US domestic and international destinations.

Source: Virgin Atlantic

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