Richard Branson to sell up to $500 million in Virgin Galactic shares to help his other businesses

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Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic (C) poses next to George T. Whitesides (R), CEO of Virgin Galactic Holdings after ringing the First Trade Bell to commemorate the company’s first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 28, 2019.

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson is preparing to sell up to $504.5 million of his stake in space tourism company Virgin Galactic, according to company filings on Monday.

The sale of up to 25 million shares of Virgin Galactic common stock will be made “from time to time by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions,” Branson’s company said in a press release. Virgin Galactic’s stock closed at $20.18 a share on Friday.

“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,” Virgin Group said.

Shares of Virgin Galactic slipped 6% in premarket trading.

The offering represents just under 22% of Branson’s total stake in Virgin Galactic, which was valued at $2.32 billion as of Friday’s close.

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