Tag Archives: $500M

Virgin Galactic stock sinks on plan to sell up to $500m in shares

Virgin Galactic filed to sell as much as $ 500m in shares after founder Richard Branson’s successful flight to suborbital space on Sunday.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. filed to sell as much as $ 500 million in shares following a rocket-powered test flight by founder Richard Branson that won Wall Street praise as a “marketing coup.”

The success of the hour-long mission to more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth boosted Virgin Galactic’s plan to start offering tourism trips next year. But the shares tumbled the most in almost seven months after the disclosure Monday of the potential stock sale, which suggested the company’s need for additional funds as it prepares its commercial debut.

“Welcome to the dawn of a new space age,” Branson told guests Sunday at the Spaceport America complex near the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Branson’s achievement is a “massive marketing coup” for Virgin Galactic that will be hard for the general public to ignore, Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert said in a research note. “The challenge now will be for the company to maintain the momentum and establish a flight plan in 2022 that can demonstrate a repeatable and increasing commercial launch cadence.”

Virgin Galactic plunged 17% to $ 40.69 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Dec. 14. The volatile shares, which have seesawed in recent weeks, doubled this year through July 9 as the company got its test-flight program back on track.

Virgin Galactic plans to begin working through a backlog of around 600 confirmed customers in early 2022. The company has said it will resume ticket sales after the summer’s test flights, with executives saying that fares will be higher than the prior price of $ 250,000 a seat.

A price of $ 300,000 should be attainable, suggested Will Whitehorn, a former president of Virgin Galactic who helped establish the company.

“Now that it works, I think they’ll be able to sell it at a premium,” he said.

Blue Origin

The suborbital journey kicks off a landmark month for the future of space tourism, with Branson demonstrating Virgin Galactic’s capabilities nine days before Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos plans to fly on a rocket made by Blue Origin, his space venture. Both companies envision businesses catering to wealthy tourists willing to pay top dollar for a short period of weightlessness and an unforgettable view of the Earth and heavens.

Virgin Galactic’s test flight demonstrated that such trips – once the stuff of science fiction – are becoming increasingly realistic.

While mostly accessible only to a tiny number of super-wealthy customers, they would add a new dimension to a burgeoning industry of private-sector space companies with plans for voyages to the International Space Station and new human outposts.

Branson and his fellow crew members experienced a few minutes of weightlessness as the Unity reached its peak altitude.

“So I looked out the window and the view is just stunning,” operations engineer Colin Bennett said afterward. “It’s very Zen; it’s very kind of peaceful up there as well.”

Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, said the memories of seeing the Earth from space will stay with him.

“I’m never going to be able to do it justice,” he said. “It’s indescribably beautiful.”

(Updates shares in fifth paragraph)

–With assistance from Blaise Robinson, Ksenia Galouchko, Christopher Jasper, Esha Dey and Tony Robinson.

Bankrupt £500m businessman dies of heroin overdose in a five-star hotel

Martin Skinner, 42, was found dead at the Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City in Dubai after struggling with addiction. His inquest this week heard Mr Skinner rebuild his property portfolio after spending time in jail in 2019 for crashing his £140k Porsche while high on cocaine.

The accident, which happened in Worthing, West Sussex, left his female passenger in a coma for a week. Mr Skinner ploughed the red Porsche 911 GT3 into a tree.

His addiction to the Class A drug also cost him losing his £500 million property firms Inspire Asset Management and Inspired Developments London and being declared bankrupt.

But the inquest at West London Coroner’s Court heard the father of one was always “ambitious and smart”.

Mr Skinner’s former partner Magdalena said in a statement: “Martin was an ambitious and smart businessman, he established a successful business as a property developer.

“He lost his father at a young age but it did not stop him from being a loving family man.”

She said he was a “car fanatic” who loved travel and tennis, but for “many years” had been unwell due to drug addiction.

Ms Skinner said: “He was in and out of rehab but was never mentally strong enough to fight his addiction. It resulted in him losing his business and being declared bankrupt.

“He was unable to come back from his addiction, which cost him everything.”

No family members attended the brief hearing, which involved the coroner reading several documents into the record.

Mr Skinner’s GP at Knightsbridge Medical Centre said his patient had struggled for 15 years with cocaine addiction and had been to rehabs including The Priory.

A forensic report from a hospital in Dubai said morphine was found in Mr Skinner’s blood and urine in a “concentration which would produce death”.

Senior coroner Chinyere Inyama said: “The morphine is there from the use of heroin.”

Mr Skinner’s death was “drug related”, the coroner concluded.

When Mr Skinner was jailed, Worthing Magistrates’ Court heard he was driving the luxury car so fast the engine flew out, and his female passenger had to be put in an induced coma for a week, suffering life-changing injuries.

The court heard the pair had gone on a drive to the shops but the woman asked him to slow down because he was driving so fast that everything was a blur.

However he ignored her pleas and ended up crashing into a tree.

The judge branded the property developer “arrogant” as he jailed him for 22 weeks for careless driving.

Mr Skinner is believed to have been in Dubai to help rebuild his portfolio, posting a series of social media updates before his death including: “Living my best. Homeless… but no longer bankrupt life.”

Olga Velskaia, 36, told the Mirror last month she was in the UAE with Mr Skinner but she went to stay in another hotel the day before he died because they had argued.

Ms Velskaia said: “He called me and called all night, but I slept. I regret and blame myself that I didn’t come.

“He was the most creative person I know, wherever he went he captured the attention of any company and public.

“He was incredibly charismatic and talented. He could not be alone, he always needed people around him.

“He helped everyone as best he could, even when he himself needed help.

“Sometimes I got tired of so many people in the house, but I understood that he needed it.

“What I admired was that he was not afraid of public opinion and never judged anyone.

“[He] scolded me if I was worried about what people would say. He always did what he wanted.

“He was always in the spotlight, and even when he was gone, people do not stop talking about him. He left as brightly as he lived.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Goldman Sachs adds $500M to fund for minority-owned businesses

Goldman Sachs is pledging an additional $ 500 million to fund minority-owned businesses through its initiative Launch with GS, the investment bank announced Thursday[1].

The investment builds on the bank’s initial investment of $ 500 million when Launch with GS began in June 2018.

Thursday’s commitment doubles Goldman Sachs’s total investment for diverse businesses to $ 1 billion.


Suzanne Gauron, managing director at Goldman Sachs and head of Launch With GS, said in a statement that “investing in diverse teams generates positive investment outcomes is embedded across our businesses and will continue to be a cornerstone of our approach.”

“The strong pipeline of entrepreneurs and managers we’ve met with so far has us even more excited about investing the next $ 500 million in 2021 and beyond,” Gauron said.

The investment bank said it has invested more than $ 450 million in companies and funds since its initiate began in 2018. Among the companies and funds include BentoBox, Burst Oral Care, Construct Capital and MaC Venture Capital.

Goldman Sachs last week[2] launched a separate initiative called “One Million Black Women,” aimed at investigating $ 10 billion over 10 years to address racial and gender biases that Black women face. That initiative is an extension of its 10,000 Women global program, which was set up in 2008 to support female entrepreneurs.


  1. ^ announced Thursday (www.goldmansachs.com)
  2. ^ last week (thehill.com)

[email protected] (Jordan Williams)