British billionaire Richard Branson announced his intention to sell some of his shares in Virgin Galactic for a total of $504.5 million to support other Virgin Group companies. This was said in a statement filed by the group with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Through its subsidiary Vieco 10 Limited, the businessman plans to sell up to 25 million securities of the 22% stake in Virgin Galactic, offering services in the field of space tourism. The decision was made to rescue Virgin Atlantic and other tourism and recreation assets that have been affected by the pandemic.
As previously reported, Branson said he was prepared to pledge his island to secure a loan to Virgin Australia for financial assistance due to the crisis and losses in the coronavirus epidemic.
Many Virgin Group companies have suffered significant losses as a result of the pandemic. In April, Virgin Australia was taken over by external management. At the same time, the British airline Virgin Atlantic announced the reduction of one third of its employees.
With the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry around the world was in a difficult situation, most resorts are empty. Experts believe that the outbreak of COVID-19 will change some habits of travelers – for example, the order of using public transport.