Etihad eyeing Virgin Atlantic says report
London, January 23, 2011
Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways has expressed "top level interest" in Richard Branson's British airline Virgin Atlantic, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.
Virgin Atlantic is in the early stages of conducting a full strategic review which could result in an alliance with rival carriers or a sale. It has hired Deutsche Bank to assess the market.
The Sunday Times said the chief executive of Etihad had written to Deutsche to express his interest in the firm, without giving any more details.
"We have no comment other than that we talk regularly and frequently to many airlines and a range of other businesses from all over the world about business issues and opportunities," a spokeswoman for Etihad said.
A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said the strategic review was still in the early stages and said the group could not comment on individual interest.
"Deutsche Bank is working with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group to assess the current aviation market place and seek growth opportunities for Virgin Atlantic," the spokeswoman said.
"This study is at a very early stage so there is no further comment to make at this time." - Reuters