The billionaire Branson has been criticised for seeking financial help from the taxpayer for the airline.
Richard Branson will now going to sell a share of his space tourism business.
According to the Virgin Group, it will use the incomes to support its “leisure, holiday and travel businesses” hit by “the unprecedented impact” of Covid-19.
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Last week, Virgin Atlantic said that it would lay off more than 3,000 jobs and end its operation at Gatwick. The company’s Australian airline branch entered administration last month. The airline industry has been struggling as the pandemic brought global travel almost to a stop.
In April, Sir Richard Branson – who possesses 51% of Virgin Atlantic – offered to put his luxury Necker Island resort up as guarantee to secure a UK government loan, which is believed to be around £500m. However, these talks with the government are continuing. But Virgin Atlantic, a private company, has been aiming on discussions with investors.
It was reported at the weekend that the company’s potential investors include private equity firms Greybull Capital, which also came under scrutiny after the collapse of British Steel, and Apollo Global Management.
In March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak wrote to airports and airlines advising them to find other forms of funding, and that the government would only consider as “a last resort” during the crisis.
The airline has also aligned restructuring specialists Alvarez and Marsal to outline contingency plans in case of insolvency.