Virgin America IPO raises $307 million: Shares begin trading Friday

Virgin America shares will trade on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol 'VA.'

Bob Riha, Jr./Virgin America/AP/File
Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson (r.), Virgin America Chairman Don Carty (c.), and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings welcome guests after arriving on Virgin America's inaugural flight to Dallas Love Field on Monday, Oct. 13.

Virgin America says its initial public offering of 13.3 million shares has priced at $23 apiece.

The offering values the Burlingame, California, airline at about $994 million and was priced below the top of the expected range of $21 to $24 a share. The carrier is selling 13.1 million shares and shareholders are offering the rest.

Virgin America, backed by Richard Branson, says its shares will start trading Friday on the Nasdaq stock market under the ticker symbol "VA."

Virgin America is the US offshoot of Branson's London-based Virgin Group, which has a sizeable presence in a number of business across UK including airlines, railways, telecommunications, media and hospitality.

Branson, through VX Holdings LP, will own 24.8 percent stake in the airline after the offering. Hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners LP with 32.8 percent is the biggest shareholder.

Virgin America started flying in 2007 with the goal of being low-cost but high-flair. Its Airbus jets feature mood lighting, leather seats and seatback touch screens for watching TV, ordering drinks or chatting with passengers in other rows.

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