Coronavirus: Branson to sell Galactic stake to prop up Virgin

Richard BransonImage copyright Reuters

Sir Richard Branson is selling a stake in Virgin Galactic to raise $500m to prop up his other businesses including Virgin Atlantic.

The billionaire has been criticised for seeking financial help from the taxpayer for the airline.

Sir Richard will now to sell a share of his space exploration 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 Atlantic said last week it would cut more than 3,000 jobs and end its operation at Gatwick.

Virgin’s Australian airline entered administration last month and

The airline industry has been struggling as the coronavirus pandemic brought global travel almost to a halt.

In April, Sir Richard – who owns 51% of Virgin Atlantic – offered to put his luxury Necker Island resort up as collateral to secure a UK government loan, believed to be around £500m.

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