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Richard Branson to Sell Virgin Galactic Shares to Support His Other Businesses Hurt by the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Billionaire Richard Branson is planning to sell up to 25 million shares of his spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) - Get Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. Report

Virgin Group, the venture capital conglomerate founded by Branson, released a press statement on Monday, implying that it's a move needed to support other businesses impacted by the current coronavirus.

“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,” the statement read.“Sales of the shares of common stock are expected to be made from time to time by means of ordinary brokers' transactions on the NYSE or otherwise."

Virgin Galactic made a lot of noise when the company became the first space-tourism company to go pubic in October 2019.

Several companies under the Virgin Group has been hit hard by the current coronavirus pandemic. 

On May 6, Virgin Atlantic announced that it was cutting cutting 3,150 jobs due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

“We have weathered many storms since our first flight 36 years ago, but none has been as devastating as Covid-19 and the associated loss of life and livelihood for so many,” Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said in a statement.

“However, to safeguard our future and emerge a sustainably profitable business, now is the time for further action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and to protect as many jobs as possible. It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021.”

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