Billionaire Richard Branson sells Virgin Galactic shares worth $300 million

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Virgin Galactic founder, Sir Richard Branson, has sold a portion of his stake in Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc for nearly $300 million, to fund his other ventures including the leisure and travel business of Branson’s Virgin Group.

This move is coming one month after the space tourism company completed its test flight into space.

The sales came as some Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock, citing a lack of planned flights as the company begins a month-long maintenance update.

Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings fell nearly 3% after the sale. Branson, through his Virgin Investments group, sold 10.4 million shares of Virgin Galactic this week at various prices, ranging from $25.75 to $34.39 a share, according to CNBC.

This sale leaves the billionaire with about 46.3 million shares worth roughly $1.2billion of stock last closing price.

The stake sale is Branson’s third since taking Virgin Galactic public through a SPAC in 2019, with his earlier sales worth $504.5 million and $150.3 million in May 2020 and April 2021 respectively. Branson has recouped more than $950 million of his investment in the space company through stake sales since taking it public.

What they are saying

Branson’s parent company said in a statement, “The Virgin Group continues to be the largest single shareholder in Virgin Galactic and intends to use the net proceeds from this sale to support its portfolio of global leisure, holiday, and travel businesses that continue to be affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to supporting the development and growth of new and existing businesses.”

Rebroadcasted:Okwosi Esther

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