Qld government moves to buy Virgin stake
The Queensland government says a state-owned funds management group has been appointed to manage its bid for a stake in Virgin Airlines.
The airline went into voluntary administration last month due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but the state government wants to retain the airline and its headquarters based in Brisbane.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the government's investment could take the form of a direct equity stake, a loan, guarantee or other financial incentives.
He said two national airlines are vital for Australia's economy and for job prosperity in the state.
"My number one focus as treasurer is to retain and create jobs for Queenslanders, particularly as we move beyond the COVID-19 crisis," Mr Dick said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We have an opportunity to retain not only head office and crew staff in Queensland, but also to grow jobs in the repairs, maintenance and overhaul sector and support both direct and indirect jobs in our tourism sector."
The state-owned management group - Queensland Investment Corporation - will advise government on all aspects of the bid under the direction of chief executive Damien Frawley as part of 'Project Maroon'.
"We are well-equipped to manage the state's interest in Virgin Australia Holdings should the consortium be successful," Mr Frawley said.
"QIC's track record as an acquirer, owner and manager of nationally critical infrastructure for both the Queensland government and long-term investors supports our consortium bid.
Mr Frawley said Virgin's administrator, Deloitte "has set an ambitious time frame" as they seek to conclude the sale process by June 2020.
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