Google close to acquiring a stake in Virgin Galactic

Google is reportedly engaged in negotiations with Virgin Galactic with the tech giant apparently keen to purchase a stake in Richard Branson’s flagship space tourism venture.

An official tie-up would grant Google access to Virgin’s satellite launch technology, powering its own plans to insert hundreds of satellites into low-Earth orbit as part of a broadband initiative.

According to Sky News talks are at an advanced stage with Google prepared to stump up $100’s of millions in equity to gain access to the technology as well as around $30m for a nominal stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company.

This would value the firm at around £1.2bn with Google holding a 1.5 per cent stake.

A clutch of celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Branson himself have stumped up £119,000 to secure tickets for inaugural flights of the craft which is scheduled to begin operation at some point this year.

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