After failing to secure the £500 million loan requested from an unimpressed British government, Branson is now looking to sell his stake in the airline by May.
Richard Branson Seeking Buyer For Virgin Atlantic
Reports suggest there are upto 50 interested parties. Understandably none of which are other airlines. Delta is the other major shareholder of Virgin Atlantic, with a 49% stake. This is the maximum permissible under EU regulations. Therefore Delta is unable to acquire any further share nor is it willing to inject anymore funds into Virgin.
New buyer would either have to be British or EU based or perhaps form some sort of consortium to get around the rules.
Government may still come to rescue
While some reports suggested, Virgin had closed off chasing government loans. A Virgin spokesperson has confirmed discussions with the government were still ongoing.