The Virgin Blue initial public offering (IPO) has closed more than 10 times oversubscribed. The final price for the offering has been set at $2.25 per share, to be paid by all retail and institutional investors.
Demand from retail and institutional investors in Australia and internationally has been outstanding. The final market capitalisation of Virgin Blue, at the final price of $2.25 per share, is A$2.3 billion.
Brett Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Blue, said he was delighted with the success of the IPO, which left the Company well capitalised to fund its growth over the medium to long term.
“Virgin Blue has achieved outstanding growth since the commencement of operations back in August 2000 and we now have sufficient cash to not only meet our objectives going forward, but also to continue to lead the low cost, low fare airline industry in Australia,” Mr Godfrey said.
Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Blue, who will continue the strategic mentoring, advisory and promotional role he has done for Virgin Blue to date, said the success of the IPO supported the view that Australian travellers demand a quality airline service at an affordable price.
“Although we have been told by our advisers that demand was over 10 times subscribed at the $2.25 price, we have decided not to price the offering any higher to hopefully allow for a decent aftermarket for the many staff and supporters of Virgin Blue,” Sir Richard said.
“Ninety-four per cent of our staff, 250 institutions worldwide and many thousands of our customers have applied for shares.”
“The level of retail investor support for Virgin Blue shows that Australians believe in our business model and want to be a part of this company’s ongoing success,” Sir Richard said.
“With three years of growth already behind us and about 30% of the Australian domestic airline market share, Virgin Blue is a great Australian success story from a global perspective, making it one of Australia’s most successful floats of recent times,” Sir Richard said.
The allocation policy will mean that there is an approximate split of two-third institutional to one-third retail investors.
Applicants under the Retail Offer can confirm their allocations by telephoning the Virgin Blue Share Offer Hotline on 1800 007 848 from 9.00am on Monday 8 December 2003.
The Joint Global Coordinators will advise successful Institutional Applicants of their allocations.
Virgin Blue shares are expected to commence trading on the ASX on Monday 8 December 2003 at 12noon (EST), on a conditional and deferred settlement basis, under the ASX code of ‘VBA’.