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Virgin Galactic falls 9% after founder Richard Branson unloads $150 million stake in the company

  • Virgin Galactic fell as much as 9% on Thursday after its founder Richard Branson sold about $150 million worth of the company.
  • The share sales took place between April 12 and April 14 at prices ranging from $26.82 to $28.73.
  • Despite the share sale, Branson remains the largest shareholder of  Virgin Galactic with a 24% stake.
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Shares of Virgin Galactic dropped by as much as 9% on Thursday after founder Richard Branson sold a $150 million stake in the company, according to an SEC filing.

Branson’s 5.5 million share sale occurred in multiple lots between April 12 and April 14, at prices ranging from $26.82 to $28.73. Virgin Galactic currently trades at $25.35, representing a 60% decline from its all-time high of $62.80 reached in mid-February.

The proceeds from the share sale will be used to fund Branson’s travel and leisure businesses, and to develop new and existing ventures, a Virgin Group representative said. Despite the $150 million share sale, Branson still remains the largest shareholder of the spaceflight company, owning a 24% stake worth about $1.6 billion.

Branson isn’t the only insider who has reduced his exposure to Virgin Galactic. In early March, Virgin Galactic’s chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sold his entire remaining stake in the company for more than $200 million.

Shares of Virgin Galactic were already under pressure this week, with the stock down 13% as its competitor Blue Origin launched a successful test flight of its New Shepard rocket.

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