Virgin Australia Holdings

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Virgin Australia Holdings Limited
Type Public (ASXVAH)
Industry Airline
Founded Brisbane, Australia, 2000
Headquarters Bowen Hills, Brisbane
Key people Neil Chatfield (Chairman)
John Borghetti (CEO)
Revenue A$3.988billion (June 2013)
Employees 8,423 (June 2013)
Subsidiaries Virgin Australia
Virgin Australia Regional
Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ)[1]
Virgin Samoa
Tigerair Australia[2]

Virgin Australia Holdings Limited is the holding company that owns and operates Virgin Australia. It previously operated Pacific Blue Airlines and joint-venture airline Polynesian Blue which were absorbed into Virgin Australia in December 2011. Its head office is located in Bowen Hills, Brisbane.


Former Virgin Blue Holdings logo, used until December 2011

Virgin Blue Holdings was formed in 2000 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Virgin Group.

In 2001 the then Air New Zealand owned Ansett Australia made a buyout offer of $250 million which, was publicly rejected by Richard Branson.[3]

In 2002 Virgin came to an agreement with Patrick Corporation to invest in the airline, to allow it to grow into a national airline, filling the void following the demise of Ansett Australia.[4]

In return for a 50% share of the company, Patrick invested $260 million. At the time, the view was that Patrick's shareholding would also allow the company to benefit from their new shareholders political connections with the Howard Government, and also 'Greenwash' the company, allowing it to be described as Australian-owned. [5]

In 2003 Virgin Blue Holdings Limited was floated on the Australian Securities Exchange as Virgin Group sought to sell down its holdings.[4]

In early 2005 Patrick launched a hostile takeover for Virgin Australia Holdings. Patrick had been unhappy for some time with the company's direction. By the closure of the offer, Patrick held 62% of the company, giving it control. Virgin Group retained a 25% share.

In 2006 Patrick Corporation was taken over by Toll Holdings, who maintained the ownership of shares in Virgin Blue Holdings. In 2008 the group announced a plan to distribute 98.3% of its shares in the company to its shareholders, thus making itself no longer a majority stakeholder.[6] At the time Toll Holdings owned 62.7% of the company and had previously attempted to sell the share to no avail.[7][8]

In January 2011, Air New Zealand purchased a 15% shareholding in Virgin Blue Holdings.[9] In June 2013 this was increased to 23%.[10]

In September 2012, Etihad Airways purchased a 10% shareholding, this was later increased to 20%.

In October 2012, Singapore Airlines bought a 10% stake in Virgin Australia Holdings.[11] In April 2013 this was increased to 20%.[12]

In October 2012, Virgin Australia Holdings announced it had purchased a 60% stake in Tiger Airways Australia with the transaction concluded in July 2013.[13] Tiger would continue to operate as a low cost subsidiary of Virgin Australia for 20 years.

In April 2013, Virgin Australia Holdings completed its acquisition of regional airline Skywest Airlines and rebranded it Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.[14]

Head office[edit]

Virgin Village, the Virgin Blue Holdings Limited head office in Bowen Hills, Brisbane

Virgin Australia Holdings has its head office in Virgin Village in Bowen Hills, Brisbane. As of 2008, 1,000 employees work at Virgin Village.[15] The building, with about 13,220 square metres (142,300 sq ft) A-Grade office space, was triple net leased to Virgin Blue.[16]

As the airline started operations, it decided to place its head office in the Brisbane area. Brett Godfrey, the-then chief executive of Virgin Blue, said in 2006 that the decision "was a long considered one and has worked well."[17] The airline originally had its head office in Fortitude Valley. The airline purchased a $61 million site in Bowen Hills for its new head office. The firm Sunland Group, which had acquired the Bowen Hills site for $8 million in 2005, had scheduled to complete the new head office in March, and the airline would be ready to move into the new head office by August of the following year.[18] The current head office facility, Virgin Village, formally opened on 17 October 2008.[19]


Virgin Australia is publicly listed. According to the 2013 Annual Report, the main shareholders in Virgin Australia Holdings, as of 30 August 2013, strong shareholders are:[20]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Daniel, Zoe (4 September 2001). "Virgin Blue boss jokes about buy-out deal". ABC Radio National PM. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  4. ^ a b Meier, Michael (26 July 2006). "Virgin Blue - Defining a New World Carrier". Celway Group. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Maiden, Malcolm (23 January 2003). "Patrick's move on Virgin Blue has a sense of déjà vu about it". The Age. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  6. ^ Virgin Blue Holdings. "Toll Announces Payment Of An In Specie Dividend To Toll Shareholders, Satisfied By Distribution Of Virgin Blue Shares". Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Stephen Mayne (14 July 2008). "Toll quits Virgin Blue, books $1.3 billion loss". Crikey. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Giles Parkinson (14 July 2008). "Toll's Virgin Blue solution". Business Spectator. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Georgina Bond (21 January 2011). "Air New Zealand pays $188.9 million for Virgin stake". National Business Review. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Air NZ revealed as buyer of 3pc additional Virgin stake The Australian 6 June 2013
  11. ^ Singapore Airlines buys 10% stake in Virgin Australia BBC News 30 October 2012
  12. ^ Singapore ups Virgin stake to 20 per cent Sydney Morning Herald 24 April 2013
  13. ^ Tiger air becomes part of Virgin 8 July 2013
  14. ^ "Media Releases | 2013". Virgin Australia. 11 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Virgin Blue seeks shelter in Brisbane". The Australian. AAP. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Virgin Blue National Headquarters, Brisbane - new 12 year lease." Jones Lang La Salle. Retrieved on 9 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Virgin Blue In State Of Excitement Over New Invest Queensland Campaign." Virgin Blue. Monday 6 March 2006. Retrieved on 8 February 2010.
  18. ^ Robins, Brian (31 March 2008). "Sydney chosen to be headquarters of V Australia". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "The Year That Was." 2009 Virgin Blue Annual Report. Retrieved on 8 February 2010.
  20. ^

External links[edit]