Sir Richard Branson’s space venture, Virgin Galactic, is earmarked to launch on the New York Stock Exchange as early as Monday next week [28 October, 2019].
This week, shareholders approved Virgin Galactic’s merger with venture capital company Social Capital Hedosophia, which is pouring around US$800 million into the space tourism program for a 49% stake in the business. According to a filing, the company, which is headed by Chamath Palihapitiya, will merge with Virgin Galactic by close of business Friday in the United States. The same filing indicates the merged entity will begin trading on the NYSE from Monday, CNBC reports.
“I’ll be in New York and hopefully ringing the bell and that should be very exciting if all goes well,” Branson said during an event in Israel this week following the launch of Virgin Atlantic flights to Tel Aviv.
Virgin Galactic has a waiting list of 600 Future Astronauts from 60 countries on its books, with tickets priced at around US$250,000 per person.
To date, Virgin Galactic has spent more than $1 billion on its space tourism program. The company hopes to generate about $600 million in annual revenue and $270 million in pre-tax profit in 2023.
Earlier this month Branson was on hand for the launch in New York of the Virgin Galactic spacewear system which its astronauts will don during their space flights.
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