Delta Air Lines Reaches Out for Virgin Atlantic Stake: Reports

Tickers in this article: DAL SINGY

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Delta Air Lines (DAL) has reached out to Singapore Airlines (SINGY) about purchasing the Asian carrier's 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways, according to published media reports.

Delta made a "secret approach" to Singapore, offering to buy out its stake in Virgin, The Sunday Times reported. The London newspaper did not name sources.

If Delta is successful in the purchase, its European partner Air France-KLM could buy part of Sir Richard Branson's 51% stake in Virgin Atlantic, The Sunday Times added.

Later Sunday, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Delta Air Lines had approached Singapore Airlines about purchasing its stake in Virgin Atlantic. The Journal cited three anonymous sources familiar with the situation.

A representative for Singapore Airlines said: "We review our investments regularly, but no decision has been made about a divestment of our shareholding in Virgin Atlantic," the Journal reported.

A Delta representative declined to comment, while a Virgin Atlantic representative said, "We are always talking to many airlines on a number of different matters but we never comment on the details of these discussions," Journal added.

Delta covets Virgin Atlantic because of its No. 2 presence at London's Heathrow Airport, the world's largest international airport when measured by traffic, the Journal reported, citing one of the three anonymous sources.

Shares of Delta Air Lines closed Friday down 5 cents at $10.00. Shares of Singapore Airlines gained 8 cents to close at $17.36.

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