A Middle East investment company has raised its stake in Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson’s space travel venture.
Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments has boosted its shareholding in Virgin Galactic to 37.8% from 31.8%. The $110 million deal was struck in July with details emerging in a prospectus for a planned bond sale by Aabar’s parent company, the Dow Jones newswire reported.
Aabar and Virgin Group announced a strategic partnership in 2009 under which Aabar would pay $280 million for a 31.8% stake in Virgin Galactic’s holding company. At the time, Aabar said the acquisition valued that business at about $900 million. The acquisition was completed last year.
Aabar said in the original announcement two years ago it had committed $100 million to fund small satellite launch capability, and that it planned to build a spaceport in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi.