Finance Finance News Virgin’s $350m equity raising to proceed

Virgin’s $350m equity raising to proceed

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Virgin Australia will proceed with its planned $350 million equity raising after the move received the green light from the Takeovers Panel.

The airline’s equity raising plans will see three foreign airlines – Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines – lift their collective stake in the company from 62.6 per cent to up to almost 70 per cent.

But the Australian Shareholders Association has opposed a cap placed on smaller retail investors, who will only be able to apply for 40 per cent of their entitlement.

ASA spokesman Stephen Mayne applied to the Takeovers Panel, arguing the equity raising had had been structured to concentrate control of the company in the hands of the foreign airlines.

He sought orders removing the cap for retail investors and blocking Etihad from lifting its stake in Virgin.

Virgin on Tuesday said the Takeovers Panel had advised it that it would not impose amendments to the airline’s equity raising offer.

“The Takeovers Panel’s decision allows the entitlement offer to continue as planned on its original terms and timetable,” the company said in a statement.

“The Virgin Australia board commends the entitlement offer and it is hopeful that all eligible retail shareholders will support Virgin Australia by taking up their entitlements.”