According to The Wall Street Journal, Virgin Galactic will be listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange through a minority acquisition made by a special goal acquisition company created by former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya. But after the kingdom murdered by the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Virgin Galactic refused to cooperate.
"Today, we become more formidable still, by announcing that Virgin Galactic. has taken a huge step towards becoming the very first publicly listed human spaceflight company", Branson said in a statement.
Billionaire Richard Branson's space-tourism venture, Virgin Galactic, plans to go public by the end of this year as part of a deal with a special objective acquisition company (SPAC) created by venture-capital firms Social Capital and Hedosophia, the companies said on Tuesday.
Now, a group of investors is working with Branson to take Virgin Galactic public, as an alternative way of raising money.
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The reorganization announcement comes after the failed merger negotiations with its national rival, Commerzbank, BBC notes. Deutsche Bank officials had previously denied reports they had planned further USA restructuring measures.
After Branson founded the company in 2004, his ambitious timeline for taking customers into space suffered delays and a fatal setback when the original SpaceShipTwo crashed on a test flight in 2014 that killed the copilot and seriously injured the pilot.
Branson said in December that he expected to make his first flight some time in 2019, followed by commercial clients.
Branson is thought to have already invested more than $1 billion in the project since 2004, while a similar proposed Saudi investment was suspended a year ago following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. During the trip, passengers float in zero gravity for several minutes, and "experience astounding views of Earth from the black sky of space", from approximately 62 miles (100 kilometres) above Earth.
The company reportedly has sold 600 tickets to those aspiring to be astronauts, amounting to a total of $80 million.
SCH founder and chief executive Chamath Palihapitiya meanwhile expressed confidence that VG "is light years ahead of the competition".