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Richard Branson And Virgin Group Launch SPAC

Chris Katje
·3 mins read

Virgin Group is one of the latest large corporations launching a SPAC.

VG Acquisition Corp (NYSE: VGAC) comes from Virgin Group and its founder Richard Branson. Current Virgin Group CEO Josh Bayliss will serve as the CEO of VG Acquisition Corp.

The Offering: Credit Suisse is underwriting this SPAC. Plans call for 40 million shares to be sold at $10 each for $400 million in proceeds. Each share will come with one-third of the warrant to purchase a share at $11.50. The group plans to list shares on the NYSE with symbol VGAC.

About Virgin Group: Virgin Group has businesses across the travel and leisure, financial, health and wellness, music, entertainment, media, mobile, space, and renewable energy industries.

A 2019 survey showed 96% brand awareness of the Virgin Group brand in the United States and 99% in the United Kingdom.

Virgin Group has a history of doing strategic collaborations with large companies, private equity firms, venture capital firms, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds.

The company also has a history of forming companies that are later acquired or merged with larger public companies. Virgin Mobile was acquired by Sprint Nextel. Virgin Media was acquired by Liberty Global. Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).

Virgin Group also has experience with SPACs as its Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE) was part of a reverse merger from Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia, who plans on launching IPOA to IPOZ.

Aside from its own Virgin branded companies, Virgin Group has made prior investments in companies like Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK), Square Inc (NYSE: SQ), Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) and Pinterest Inc (NYSE: PINS).

VG Acquisition Corp: Virgin Group has a history of providing strategic direction and assistance in value creation initiatives. Virgin Group has experience starting businesses from the ground up, acquiring stakes in existing businesses, and re-branding a business under the Virgin name.

An acquired company could even end up under the Virgin brand someday.

“A key differentiator for our company versus other sponsors is our ability to apply the Virgin brand to our target in conjunction with a business combination,” the filing says. “We are focused on effecting a business combination with a target that operates in one of the Virgin Group’s core sectors: travel and leisure, financial services, health and wellness, technology and internet-enabled, music and entertainment, media and mobile, and renewable energy/resource efficiency."

VG Acquisition Corp believes it can help an acquired company by providing marketing efficiency, boosting market share, attracting and retaining talent, commanding a premium, scaling fast, and building loyal communities.

Virgin Galactic visits the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate its listing. Richard Branson rings The First Trade Bell. Photo courtesy of Courtney Crow.

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