British business tycoon Sir Richard Branson (File photo by SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTA -- Sir Richard Branson could relinquish control of Virgin Atlantic within days, following weekend talks about the airline's future, reports the U.K.'s The Sunday Times. Branson is in takeover negotiations with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, Inc. and Air France-KLM.
The Sunday Times reported last week that Delta had approached Singapore Airlines about buying its 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, and that Air France-KLM was interested in buying part of Branson's 51 percent holding.
Sources close to the talks said it was possible that a deal would be wrapped up early this week, but cautioned it could still fall apart, the Sunday Times reported. "It is a three-way situation between Delta, Singapore and Virgin, so it is difficult confidently to predict the outcome," one insider said.
Branson, one of Britain's best-known businessmen, started Virgin Atlantic in 1984.