The sale of Virgin Australia Holdings to Bain Capital took another step forward on November 10 when the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney denied a final plea from a minority of shareholders to stop the transfer of more than eight billion shares to the new owners.

Justice John Middleton heard an application made under Section 444DA of the Corporations Act, which gives priority to eligible employee creditors, but ultimately he ordered the administrator, Deloitte, to transfer all of the listed shares from the current shareholders to Bain.

Deloitte subsequently announced that it expected the transfer to be complete on November 17, ending the Virgin Australia parent’s period under administration but leaving many of the company's investors without any return.

On September 4, unsecured creditors, including bondholders, voted to accept a return of just 9% to 13% on their claims - claims which total about AUD7 billion Australian dollars (USD5 billion).

Shareholders were entitled to nothing, but while larger shareholders such as Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Nanshan Group accepted the write-off, a number of small parties fought on.

Justice Middleton sided with Deloitte, however, ruling that although some valuable assets remained from the former business, like the loyalty scheme Velocity, the liabilities outstanding were too substantial, Australian Aviation reported.

Deep restructuring of the business has ensured that Virgin Australia will emerge from administration as a value-based airline with 3,000 fewer employees, without many of its international routes, and minus its Tigerair Australia (TT, Melbourne Tullamarine) brand.