Sir Richard Branson should be ashamed of himself for cashing in on Virgin Galactic’s flotation given the calamity it has already caused; investors would be advised to steer well clear
When Virgin Galactic floats on the New York stock exchange for approximately £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion, €1.4 billion or درهم5.6billion) later this year, self-declared “entrepreneur” and all-round example of a self-obsessive megalomaniac Sir Richard Branson looks set to cash in some of his investment. He will receive some £178 million ($219 million, €200 million or درهم804 million) according to today’s Mail on Sunday.
Citing only that he and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala, are “taking money off the table because they have funded it to date,” potential investors in this particularly loopy project should take note that research for it has directly and indirectly killed four people and seriously injured one another to date. Of the venture also, in July this year, the Guardian warned: “A long history of false starts might deter the cautious investor before rushing to buy shares in Virgin Galactic.”
Another of Branson’s firms, Virgin Trains – a company that is rightly losing its West Coast rail franchise in December – is widely known for its “poor punctuality record” and for the involvement of one of its trains in the 2007 Grayrigg derailment (one fatality, fifty serious injuries). Based on the records of both of these transport firms histories, why would anyone trust Virgin Galactic to run space travel safely or on time either?
Branson himself was convicted and briefly jailed for tax evasion in 1971. In spite of this, this hypocritical “tax exile” is a man who likes to foist his political views on the British public and it should be remembered that he has many failed ventures as well. They include Virgin Brides, Virgin Cars, Virgin Clothing, Virgin Cola, Virgin Publishing and Virgin Vodka.
Considering the evidence, one is simply left asking: Why on earth would investors get involved in this ludicrously overambitious flotation or anything else to do with this ridiculous nightmare of a man?