This is Why Shares of Virgin America are Popping Today

Operations Inside The Virgin America Inc. Terminal After Filing For IPO
An employee prepares a Virgin America Inc. Airbus A320 plane for take off at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Virgin America Inc., the seven-year-old airline partially owned by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, is seeking as much as $320 million in an initial public offering in the U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Shares of Richard Branson’s Virgin America (VA) jumped nearly 14% Wednesday after Bloomberg reported the company was reaching out to potential buyers to sell parts or all of the company.

The airline did so after receiving takeover interest from an unnamed party. The airline, founded by Branson, is working with a financial advisor to consider a sale, though it may not go through with it, reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

Virgin America, a relatively small airline with a fleet of 58 aircrafts, went public in 2014 at $23 a share and branded itself as a chic, low cost airline. The company raised roughly $307 million that day.

The airline, which has consistently been considered one of the best domestic carriers, flies route in the U.S. and Mexico, and recently started offering flights to Hawaii, a highly lucrative flight location.

The company made a comeback in February, showing higher profits on lower fuel costs for the fourth quarter. It report 2015 revenue of $1.53 billion, up 3% from a year earlier.

In late 2015, the company announced that it would offer faster Wi-Fi and free Netflix on flights—which pushed up stock prices.


Back in 2012, Delta Airlines reportedly showed interest in a merger with international carrier and Virgin America’s sister airline, Virgin Atlantic.

If Virgin America does decide to partner with a large airline on par with Delta, the acquisition would be one in a long trend of smaller carriers merging under the umbrella of a huge companies in the U.S.

Trading of the Virgin America was briefly halted in New York on Wednesday, before making its clamber back toward Dec. 31 level of $36.01. The company has a market cap of $1.54 billion.

Virgin America declined to comment on the story.


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