Virgin Australia’s proposed acquisition of 60% of Tiger Airways Australia has been approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which said the deal “is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the Australian (domestic) market”.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims added: “Tiger Airways would be “highly unlikely to remain in the local market if the proposed acquisition didn’t proceed” due to its “history of poor financial and operational performance. Virgin Australia now has the opportunity of transforming Tiger Australia into an effective competitor to Jetstar for price sensitive travellers.”

Update 24/4: Travel Daily reports: Virgin Australia is now almost 20% owned by Singapore Airlines, according to an Australian Stock Exchange update just issued.

Sir Richard Branson’s Vieco 2 Limited is reducing its shareholding by selling 255,541,946 shares in Virgin Australia to Singapore Airlines, with the total deal worth just over $122 million.

SIA’s existing 10% stake was acquired in Oct last year via a share placement, with the carriers involved in a long-term partnership encompassing codesharing, reciprocal frequent flyer program benefits, coordinated schedules and joint sales, marketing and distribution activities.

After the sell-down, Branson still holds about 16% of Virgin Australia, with other major shareholders including Air New Zealand at 19.9% and Etihad at about 9%.

Share and Enjoy: