LAXintl
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Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:43 am

Funny stuff.

In response to IAG's Willie Walsh stating that a deal by Singapore Airlines to sell its shares in Virgin Atlantic could ultimately be the end of the Virgin airline brand, billionaire Richard Branson is willing to bet that his flagship airline has a future.

So Branson proposed a £1 million ($1.6 million) wager with the IAG chief that Virgin Atlantic would still be around 5-years from now.

As Branson put it “This is wishful thinking and totally misguided,” referring to the airline as “my baby.”
“Will BA never learn? Let’s see how much they believe this. Let them put their money where their mouth is.”


Story:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...sons-million-pound-wager-on-virgin

=
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qf002
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:23 am

Come on, of course they'll still be around in five years.

I wonder if SRB would be willing to make a bet on whether the company will still be around in 20 years though.
 
tardis
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:33 am

Virgin must survive. BA need the competition!
 
avek00
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:48 am

Well, once the US finalizes Open Skies deals with several countries VS presently flies to where Open Skies does not exist today, Delta could conceivably acquire VS, making it an American carrier. This move would have the benefit of leveraging Delta's fleet mix and labor costs.
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lightsaber
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:44 am

The reality is that LHR isn't growing and when the economy really turns up (signs are showing improvement), LHR just won't matter that much and thus VS will have a lower share of global revenue. I've never understood the fascination with SRB. If the UK wanted competition, they would expand LHR.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 1):
Come on, of course they'll still be around in five years.

I wonder if SRB would be willing to make a bet on whether the company will still be around in 20 years though.

My thoughts too. But will SRB be around in 20 years?   And what is Virgin post SRB?

Quoting avek00 (Reply 3):
Delta could conceivably acquire VS, making it an American carrier.

DL would do well with the slots.

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moo
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:53 am

I read this the other day on the BBC news website, where there is a slightly different different slant on it - one short sentence made me view Branson in a poor light for the rest of the article:

Quote:

Sir Richard said that instead of suing BA for Mr Walsh's comments, he would put up £1m, to be distributed to BA staff should Virgin Atlantic cease to exist, if BA agreed to pay Virgin Atlantic staff the same amount should the brand still exist in five years.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20665041

If you even momentarily considered suing a rival for some off the cuff comments made by its boss, when said comments are perfectly legitimate and part of basic free speech, then I would rather not give you time of day.

The rest of it is just a bad PR stunt by Branson.
 
LGWGate49
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:26 am

Well WW is betting SRB a "knee in the groin" in return!

He's pretty direct about his relationship with the Virgin boss:

"The IAG chief said he didn’t know Sir Richard very well but “on the limited occasions” he had met him he hasn’t seen anything that would “make me want to meet him again”."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...-Virgin-Atlantic-wont-survive.html
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AussieItaliano
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:31 am

Quoting moo (Reply 5):
If you even momentarily considered suing a rival for some off the cuff comments made by its boss, when said comments are perfectly legitimate and part of basic free speech, then I would rather not give you time of day.

Sure, but SRB actually won the lawsuit years ago and was awarded £1m, which means that whatever comments were made, they were not legitimate and part of basic free speech under British law, otherwise SRB would have lost.

Also, SRB didn't keep the money he won in that lawsuit, he distributed it to Virgin employees.

I don't think SRB is out to keep people from using their rights to free speech, but he is entitled to protect his business interests. And if British law gives him the right to sue a rival for comments made, then those comments made must have been damaging to SRB's interests in a way that goes beyond protected free speech.

I'm not saying that I think people should run to court whenever damaging comments are made, but when someone wins a lawsuit, I do have to think that there was some legitimate basis for the lawsuit.
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anstar
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:41 am

This is just wishful thinking from Willie Walsh.

Perhaps he should focus on fixing his basket case IBERIA before throwing stones at others.

DL as a 49% stakeholder in VS will hurt BA much more than the 49% owner SQ currentyl does as with DL, VS would likely join skyteam and the JV across the atlantic and therefore hurting BA's profits.
 
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moo
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:56 am

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 7):
Sure, but SRB actually won the lawsuit years ago and was awarded £1m, which means that whatever comments were made, they were not legitimate and part of basic free speech under British law, otherwise SRB would have lost.

Different lawsuit over different things - not the same as someone saying "I don't think *rival* will be around in five years".

Its this specific instance that I am referring to - suing should never have even been a consideration.

Incase anyone is wondering what this is all about, the Telegraph has a story on what Walsh actually said in context:

Quote:

“I can’t see Delta wanting to operate the Virgin brand because if they do what does that say about the Delta brand?" Mr Walsh said. “Delta believe they are the number one airline in the world, so what they would want to do is acquire the slots at Heathrow to enable them to have a strong presence at Heathrow.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...c-brand-could-soon-be-history.html

Nothing there that can be sued over. The fact that Branson even went there momentarily speaks boat loads.
 
travelhound
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 1):
Come on, of course they'll still be around in five years.

I wonder if SRB would be willing to make a bet on whether the company will still be around in 20 years though

The bet would be a little more interesting if it was based upon VS being profitable in five years.
 
anstar
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:28 pm

So Walsh responds

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20676667

Quote:

"I don't have £1m, so a knee in the groin, maybe - that would be as painful to him as it might be to me."

Deary me - both men just needs to keep their lips sealed and focus on their business interests rather than pissing contests.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:37 pm

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 7):
Sure, but SRB actually won the lawsuit years ago and was awarded £1m, which means that whatever comments were made, they were not legitimate and part of basic free speech under British law, otherwise SRB would have lost.

Also, SRB didn't keep the money he won in that lawsuit, he distributed it to Virgin employees.

I don't think SRB is out to keep people from using their rights to free speech, but he is entitled to protect his business interests. And if British law gives him the right to sue a rival for comments made, then those comments made must have been damaging to SRB's interests in a way that goes beyond protected free speech.

I'm not saying that I think people should run to court whenever damaging comments are made, but when someone wins a lawsuit, I do have to think that there was some legitimate basis for the lawsuit.

The "dirty tricks" lawsuit was a whole campaign waged by certain people in BA, including off the record briefings against VS, trying to poach customers, etc. Very different from Willie Walsh making a comment about VS still being here in five years! This is Branson's style all over - makes generalised comments that can be interpreted in a particular way (and that grabs a headline), but that require a competitor to give a detailed response that most of the general public won't (and can't) be interested in reading. Concorde was a classic example - SRB said sell it to us for the £1 you bought it for, which ignored the fact the much more complicated fact of a government keen to place the last few aircraft and wrap the programme up.

"Dirty Tricks" wasn't a legitimate way for BA to take VS on, and after that BA was very scared of public taking VS on. Willie Walsh has been the first person at the head of BA (and now at IAG) to say it as he sees it and to play Branson at his own game. So he knows that BA can't bet £1 million, whereas Branson the "overseas billionaire banker" (like that line) can, so he bets something that will hurt him (Walsh) as much as Branson - a knee in the groin.
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bennett123
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:50 pm

IMO, WW should take the bet, but say "make it £2M".

Not taking the bet makes it look like he was just hot air. Doubling would put SRB on the back foot.

Assuming that VS still around in 5 years, and that IAG have to pay out, the publicity now would probably be worth the potential future outlay.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:58 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 13):
IMO, WW should take the bet, but say "make it £2M".

Not taking the bet makes it look like he was just hot air. Doubling would put SRB on the back foot.

Assuming that VS still around in 5 years, and that IAG have to pay out, the publicity now would probably be worth the potential future outlay.

Walsh is CEO of a publically listed company not an independently wealthy millionaire. He can't just make a £1 million bet, yet alone raise it to £2 million!
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neutrino
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:08 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 1):
I wonder if SRB would be willing to make a bet on whether the company will still be around in 20 years though.
Quoting Tardis (Reply 2):
My thoughts too. But will SRB be around in 20 years? And what is Virgin post SRB?

Its hard to say for sure any particular will airline will definately still be in business 2 decades hence.
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seansasLCY
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:12 pm

Apparently Delta have purchased 49% for $360million. This is according to a journalist. https://twitter.com/Lebeaucarnews

BREAKING: New joint venture between @Delta and @VirginAtlantic adds 31 daily roundtrip flts between uk and north america.

BREAKING: @Delta adding 31 daily non-stop flights between UK and N. America in #VirginAtlantic deal critical to #DAL growing Euro biz.

Didn't SQ pay around $600million?
 
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moo
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:19 pm

Quoting seansasLCY (Reply 16):

Apparently Delta have purchased 49% for $360million.

Well, now we know the going price for 31 LHR slots...
 
flyingalex
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:23 pm

Quoting seansasLCY (Reply 16):
Didn't SQ pay around $600million?
£600million actually, which is almost $1billion at present exchange rates.
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docpepz
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RE: Branson Wagers Willie Walsh £1 Mil Over VS Future

Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:26 pm

SQ paid GBP600 mil when the GBP:SGD rate was 1:3 so they paid SGD1.8 bil
They sell it for US$360 mil, which is SGD 432 mil

OUCH.

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