Sir Richard Branson announced he’ll be selling more than a fifth worth of shares in his suborbital spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic. The move intends to generate funds to aid other companies under the Virgin Group, as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the travel and tourism industry.
Vieco 10, the Virgin Group holding that owns the majority of the Virgin Galactic, announced on May 11, that it planned to sell 25 million shares or 22% of the company’s overall stake. The proceeds of the sale would generate roughly $485 million for Virgin at the price of $19.50 per share at the close of trade May 11. Virgin Group owns 81% of Vieco 10.
“Virgin intends to use any proceeds to support its portfolio of global leisure, holiday and travel businesses that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of Covid-19,” said the company.
The Virgin Group is a collection of companies that primarily focuses on travel and tourism. And since worldwide lockdowns have been enforced to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the global tourism industry has been put to a standstill, leaving companies in severe financial difficulty.
The sales of the shares of common stock “are expected to be made from time to time by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions on the New York Stock Exchange or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices related to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices.”