Branson again. Pure chutzpah.
Posted by Mary on April 7, 2020, 7:09 pm
Sir Richard Branson has shifted some of his assets to the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven, amid calls for a taxpayer-funded state bailout of his airline business. |
Sir Richard transferred part of his $1.1bn (£900m) stake in Virgin Galactic Holdings to the BVI, where he has lived for 14 years. Those shares had been held by a Delaware-based holding company, which had been set up for Virgin Galactic’s float last year.
A spokesperson for Richard Branson told Bloomberg the move in assets had been an “internal reorganisation that has no effect on our ownership interest”.
“Rather than continuing to hold the shares indirectly, we undertook this exercise to eliminate indirect ownership through that subsidiary, as the US entity was no longer necessary.”
Virgin Galactic did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
The latest move was said to have not been linked with growing pressures on Virgin Atlantic, which is part owned by Sir Richard.
Last week, the business was locked in talks with ministers over a government lifeline thought to be worth in the region of £500m. Like all airlines, Virgin has been struggling with the fallout from Covid-19, which has forced passengers to cancel travel plans, grounded thousands of flights and devastated ticket revenues.
Rolls-Royce, Heathrow Airport and Airbus have all urged the Government to provide a state bailout, saying the collapse of the airline would reverberate across the UK supply chain for aircraft and engineering services.
Up until now, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has maintained that money would only be made available to airlines as a last resort, and has urged them to seek other support. British Airways, for example, has secured €1.4bn (£1.2bn) of new loans.
Sir Richard has taken steps to shore up his companies, and last week it emerged it was considering deferring tens of millions in fees owed by Virgin brand companies. He has pledged $250m to protect workers.
Wonder how Virgin Money and all of his other subsidiaries are doing?