Virgin America confirms IPO plans as it seeks $1 billion valuation on NASDAQ

 

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The Independent Online

Virgin America, the low-cost airline partly owned by Sir Richard Branson, has announced plans to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York.

The airline plans to raise as much as $320 million by selling 13.3 million shares to be priced at $21-$24 apiece, according to a SEC filing on Monday. That would value Virgin America at $1 billion at the top end of the range.

Branson owns a 22 per cent stake through Virgin Group. The rest is owned by VAI Partners, which holds a 76.1 per cent stake in the company.

Virgin America operates in 22 cities in the United States and Mexico, focusing mainly in the area of Los Angeles and San Francisco, using a fleet of Airbus jets. It recently launched a new service departing from New York's La Guardia airport.

The airline posted net income of $56.2 million in the nine months through September, compared with a loss of $4 million a year earlier, the filing showed. Barclays and Deutsche Bank are the lead underwriters in the IPO.

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