Virgin Galactic Chair Ditches Personal Holdings

Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya, the chairman of Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) who took the company public through a SPAC deal in 2019, sold his remaining personal stake this week, a securities filing disclosed.

Palihapitiya sold about 6.2 million Virgin Galactic shares on Tuesday and Wednesday, worth about $213 million at the average selling prices.
He still indirectly owns about 15.8 million shares through Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings — the special purpose acquisition company that he formed with investor Ian Osborne.

Shares of Virgin Galactic slid about 6.3% in Friday’s premarket trading from its previous close of $30.30 a share. The company’s stock has lost more than half its value since hitting an all time high of $62.80 in early February, although it remains up more than 28% this year.

The shares are down more than 18% this week alone. They opened Friday lower by $1.20, or 4%, to $29.10

Palihapitiya in December sold about 3.8 million shares of his stake in Virgin Galactic. At the time, Palihapitiya said he sold the shares "to help manage my liquidity as I fund several new projects starting in 2021."

His latest sales come a week after Virgin Galactic revealed further delays to its spacecraft testing program, saying it now does not expect commercial flights to begin until early 2022. When Palihapitiya’s SPAC merged with Sir Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Galactic said it expected commercial spaceflights to begin by the summer of 2020.