Richard Branson to Sell Virgin Galactic Shares to Save Airline
Richard Branson has agreed to sell AU$765 million ($500M) worth in shares in his Virgin Galactic space business. Virgin Group said it will use the proceeds to support its “leisure, holiday and travel businesses” hit by “the unprecedented impact” of COVID-19.
Virgin Galactic is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group. Founded in 2004 by Richard Branson, the company is developing commercial spacecraft and aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists and suborbital launches for space science missions.
The money raised from selling shares would be reinvested into firms including Virgin Atlantic. Airlines in general have been struggling worldwide during the pandemic. Virgin Atlantic has it would cut more than 3,000 jobs and end its operation at Gatwick. Virgin’s Australian airline entered administration last month. The businessman owned 51% and 10% of the airlines respectively.
Branson had previously suggested he would be willing to re-mortgage his private Necker Island in the Caribbean to raise funds.