Malawi government through the Office of the President and Cabinet has finally settled for $15 million offer from Virgin Airline, a British company plying trade under Bohnex Enterprise Limited which is interested in the presidential jet.
Three offers were reportedly made for the presidential jet after bid were opened to the general public in February this year, all offers were below $20 million with the highest bidder offering $14 million.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government had bought the Dassault Falcon 900EX jet in 2009 for former president late Bingu wa Mutharika at $22 million. But President Joyce Banda decided to put the Presidential jet on the market following pressure from cooperating donors and civil society groupings to sell off the jet to be in line with the country’s austerity measures.
Cabinet has already approved the sale of the jet below its market value, according OPC’s Principal Secretary Chimthu Phiri.
Cabinet settled for the $15 million offer at meeting held on Friday in Lilongwe where it also approved the sale of the jet.
“The buyer has been identified and the amount is $15 million. We have communicated to the buyer we have accepted their offer and we are waiting to hearing from them,” said Phiri.
Virgin is a leading international investment group and one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands.
Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors ranging from mobile telephony, travel, financial services, leisure, music, holidays and health and wellness. Across its companies, Virgin employs approximately 50,000 people, in 34 countries and global branded revenues in 2011 were around £13bn ($21bn).