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.