Branson races to find Virgin Atlantic buyer

Sir Richard Branson is seeking a buyer for Virgin Atlantic and has set an end-of-May deadline to save the airline from collapse after a taxpayer bailout proved beyond his reach.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that the pursuit of a £500m government package has been effectively shelved and that the airline is now focused on securing new private investment in the shadow of potential insolvency.

Houlihan Lokey, the investment bank hired by Virgin Atlantic, has sounded out more than 100 potential financial institutions, with “all options on the table”, sources said.

Roughly 50 potential investors have asked for information and

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