Billionaire Branson’s Virgin Galactic Files To Sell $500 Million In Stock One Day After Reaching Space


Virgin Galactic, the British-American aerospace company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, filed to sell up to $500 million in stock to investors Monday morning, just one day after completing a historic flight to space that drew massive fanfare and (briefly) boosted share prices.

Key Facts

In a Monday regulatory filing, Virgin revealed it’s entered into an agreement to sell up to $500 million in stock at market prices, though it hasn’t yet disclosed when it plans to do so.

As part of the disclosure, the 17-year-old firm touted its first successful spaceflight, carrying a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists, on Sunday.

The company says it plans to use net proceeds from the offering to develop its spaceship fleet, improve infrastructure and “co-develop, acquire or invest” in products that are “complementary” to its business.

Shares of Virgin, which enlisted Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley for the offering, sank more than 10% within minutes of the announcement, reversing pre-market gains of nearly 5%.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Big Number

$1.2 billion. That’s how much Virgin’s market cap, now about $10.8 billion, plunged after the announcement. Branson and his Virgin Group retain a 24% stake in the company.

Further Reading

Richard Branson’s 17-Year Journey Into Space: How The Virgin Founder Became First Billionaire To Fly Own Rocket (Forbes)

Live: Inside Richard Branson’s Journey To Outer Space (Forbes)

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