Oceania

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd’s unsecured creditors will receive an average return of 9-13% of their funds as part of U.S. private equity group Bain Capital’s proposed purchase of the airline, administrator Deloitte said in a report on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The unsecured creditors include 6,500 bondholders who are owed A$2 billion ($1.43 billion) by the country’s second-biggest airline and will receive a return of 8.4-12.8%, less than the 14.4% return for critical suppliers. Priority creditors and employees will receive 100% of funds owed, the report said.

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Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd bondholders have withdrawn plans for a proposed recapitalisation of the airline that was meant to rival one from U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital, a spokesman for the bondholders said on Friday, Reuters reported. Singapore’s Broad Peak and Hong Kong’s Tor Investment Management, which had proposed the rival deed of company arrangement (DOCA) to recapitalise the airline, hold around A$300 million ($216 million) of Virgin’s A$2 billion of unsecured bonds, part of nearly A$7 billion owed to creditors.

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National Australia Bank Ltd on Friday urged customers at high risk of default on their loans to sell their properties sooner rather than later, as it reported ballooning credit impairment charges during the quarter, Reuters reported. Property prices in Australia fell for a third straight month in July but home prices nationwide still stand about 7% higher than in the corresponding month last year.

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Prushka Fast Debt Recovery revealed through data sourced from court records that the Australian Taxation Office and other government agencies, typically the largest source of company liquidations, have halted their winding up of businesses, Dynamic Business reported. In April to June, 374 businesses issued Notices of Winding Up Applications, a decrease of 47 per cent compared to the last quarter, and 64 per cent year-on-year.

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Australian companies are likely to deliver smaller dividends in what is forecast to be the country’s worst earnings season in a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic, with even firms that benefited from the upheaval expected to show caution, Reuters reported. Fund managers and analysts expect the corporate results season that begins this week to reveal an overall decline in profits of around one-fifth due to the abrupt shutdowns that followed the virus outbreak.

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An independent survey commissioned by insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland has found that of the 1,000 business owners and directors surveyed, 51 per cent said they were expecting to explore restructuring or insolvency options in the next six months, Accountants Daily reported. The prospect of JobKeeper coming to an end was far from their primary concern, with just one in 10 worried about the phase-out of the wage subsidy scheme. Instead, cash-flow concerns continue to keep business owners up at night, with 36 per cent nominating it as their stressor.

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Australia’s government is being sued for not adequately disclosing the impact of climate change on its sovereign debt, Bloomberg Green reported. The class action filed in the Federal Court in Melbourne on Wednesday alleges the Australian Office of Financial Management and the Treasury have misled or deceived investors by failing to disclose climate change alongside other financial risks in its exchange-traded bonds, according to court documents. The lawsuit seeks promotion of the debt to be halted until the disclosures are made.

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Australia faces an avalanche of business failures in its transport and hospitality sectors after government subsidies end in September, insolvency lawyers and economists say, while some argue that so-called ‘zombie’ firms should be allowed to fail, Reuters reported. About 240,000 businesses in tourism and professional services are at high risk of failing during the September ‘fiscal cliff’, when widespread wage subsidies are set to end, economists at Deloitte said on Monday.

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Bondholders in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd, in administration since April, on Monday submitted an updated proposal to take over the struggling company that rivals the approach from Bain Capital selected by administrator Deloitte, Reuters reported. The new proposal from bondholders Broad Peak Investment Advisers and Tor Investment Management is “substantially the same” as a recapitalisation pitch for Australia’s second-biggest airline they lodged last month, a spokesman said in a statement.

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