Latest Richard Branson News

  • Early brake deployment caused SpaceShipTwo accident: NTSB
    Early brake deployment caused SpaceShipTwo accident: NTSB Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    US safety officials on Tuesday accused the builders of a commercial space vehicle of failing to factor in human error that caused its disintegration over the Mojave Desert last year. More »

  • Virgin Money posts robust first-half profit on surge in mortgage lending
    Virgin Money posts robust first-half profit on surge in mortgage lending Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    (Reuters) - British bank Virgin Money said its first-half profit jumped 37 percent, bolstered by a surge in mortgage lending. The bank, which listed last year and is backed by billionaire Richard Branson, said it expected a short delay in the delivery of mid-teens return on tangible equity due to the new 8 percent tax surcharge on UK banks' profits to be levied from January 2016. Challenger banks such as Virgin Money and TSB Banking Group were previously exempt from the bank levy given the small size of their balance sheets, but will now have to pay an 8 percent surcharge on their profits. More »

  • The comprehensive list of the best celebrities that graced the crowds Wimbledon …
    The comprehensive list of the best celebrities that graced the crowds Wimbledon … Mon, Jul 13, 2015

    This year’s tennis tournament was the perfect place for celeb-hunting, so much so they should’ve probably consider rolling out a red carpet. More »

  • Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii, completing historic flight
    Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii, completing historic flight Sat, Jul 4, 2015

    The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft completed a historic flight in its quest to circle the globe without consuming a drop of fuel, touching down gracefully in Hawaii on Friday after the most arduous leg of its journey. More »

  • Virgin Atlantic Cuts 500 Jobs In Restructuring
    Virgin Atlantic Cuts 500 Jobs In Restructuring Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    Virgin Atlantic is planning to cut 500 jobs under an efficiency drive to trim costs by simplifying its operations. The airline, which returned to profitability in 2014, said its restructuring plan was aimed at growing profits to record levels by 2018. Virgin - majority owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group - insisted no customer-facing roles would be affected. More »

  • Virgin Atlantic to cut 500 jobs - WSJ
    Virgin Atlantic to cut 500 jobs - WSJ Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    (Reuters) - Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd [VA.UL], owned by its British billionaire founder Richard Branson, is cutting about 500 jobs as it seeks to reduce costs and improve its financial resilience, the Wall Street Journal reported. More »

  • Formula E hopes to expand to Africa, India
    Formula E hopes to expand to Africa, India Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - The Formula E electric car racing series is aiming to expand to Africa and India after a successful debut season in Asia, the Americas and Europe. "We want to conquer as much of the world as we can," the series chief executive Alejandro Agag told reporters after Sunday's final round at London's Battersea Park on the south bank of the River Thames. "We will be looking for places maybe in Africa also." Agag said the series, won by Brazilian Nelson Piquet junior for Team China Racing, would probably have two new cities in the second season although the number of races was likely to remain the same or one more. More »

  • Renault to invest more in electric series Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Renault will invest more in Formula E after a successful debut season for the world's first electric racing series, chief executive Carlos Ghosn said on Sunday. The inaugural Formula E team title was won by e.dams Renault, with France's four times Formula One world champion Alain Prost also involved. "Everything we are seeing in Formula E is encouraging us to continue and invest more and be more present," said Ghosn, whose company are assessing their Formula One options after struggling to be competitive with the new V6 turbo hybrid engines.. Renault will have new rivals in Citroen's DS brand next season after they announced a partnership with Richard Branson's Virgin team. More »

  • Leaving the EU would set Britain back 50 years, says Virgin's Branson
    Leaving the EU would set Britain back 50 years, says Virgin's Branson Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    A British exit from the European Union would set the country back half a century and be catastrophic for its trade and economic prospects, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson said on Sunday. Branson, whose Virgin Group empire ranges from airlines to banking and space travel, was speaking after Prime Minister David Cameron told EU leaders last week he needed a new deal to keep Britain as a member. Cameron has pledged to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the bloc before holding an in-out membership referendum by the end of 2017. More »

  • Branson warns against leaving EU
    Branson warns against leaving EU Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    A British exit from the European Union (EU) would be "catastrophic", businessman Sir Richard Branson has said. More »

  • Formula E will overtake F1 in five years, says Branson
    Formula E will overtake F1 in five years, says Branson Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Electric racing will overtake Formula One in popularity within five years, British entrepreneur Richard Branson predicted on Saturday at the final round of the new Formula E series. Announcing a partnership between his Virgin Racing Formula E team and Citroen's DS brand, the billionaire also said he was willing to bet all new cars would be battery driven in 20 years' time. "I think there's still going to be room for Formula One for another few more years," Branson told reporters ahead of the London ePrix in Battersea Park, south of the River Thames. More »

  • OneWeb sets record launch plan after $500 million funding Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    By Aman Shah and Irene Klotz MUMBAI/CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - Privately owned OneWeb announced what it called the world's largest commercial rocket deal on Thursday after raising $500 million (£318 million) from a group of global investors to support its plans to bring broadband to billions of people via satellite. The fund-raising attracted backing from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Europe’s Airbus Group , which will also build 900 "micro-satellites" designed to extend the reach of the Internet to remote corners of the world. OneWeb plans to put a network of 648 small satellites into orbit to provide global broadband and mobile telephone services. More »

  • Satellite Internet venture OneWeb gets $500 mln in funding
    Satellite Internet venture OneWeb gets $500 mln in funding Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    By Aman Shah MUMBAI (Reuters) - Internet delivered globally via satellites came a step closer on Thursday after a group of global investors agreed to put $500 million into OneWeb Ltd, one of the largest corporate venture financings so far this year. OneWeb, whose backers include Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises, said it would use the funds to acquire 65 commercial rockets to launch satellite-borne Internet services to extend the reach of mobile operators to customers in remote corners of the world. ... More »

  • Business bosses to PM Cameron - 'Don't lock us out of the EU' Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Business chiefs from companies including BT , easyJet and a local cider maker called on Prime Minister David Cameron to keep Britain in the European Union as he prepared to ask EU leaders for a new deal. Cameron, who won an unexpectedly decisive victory in a national election last month, has promised to recast Britain's relationship with the 28-member bloc and hold a referendum on membership by the end of 2017. As Cameron prepared to present his proposals to an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, 27 bosses from among the biggest listed British companies to the likes of Hogan’s Cider, a brewery in the central English county of Warwickshire, said Britain should stay in the EU. More »

  • Branson unveils plans for 'boutique' cruise line
    Branson unveils plans for 'boutique' cruise line Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Sir Richard Branson (2nd R) poses for a photo with Virgin Cruise President and CEO Tom McAlAlpin (2ndL) at the Perez Art Museum to announce the new Virgin Cruise Lines in Miami on June 23, 2015 in Miami, ... More »

  • Don’t push your children into careers they’re not suited for – it can backf …
    Don’t push your children into careers they’re not suited for – it can backf … Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    It can be hard to do, but sometimes we should back off and let young people make their own decisions. More »

  • Virgin exploring possible purchase of Spain's Yoigo - report
    Virgin exploring possible purchase of Spain's Yoigo - report Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    The Virgin Group is looking to potentially buy Spanish budget mobile operator Yoigo from Sweden's TeliaSonera , El Economista newspaper reported on Friday, citing sources with knowledge of the situation. Virgin, run by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and which has spanned mobile phones, airlines and music stores, is studying ways break into the Spanish telecoms market and has held talks with Yoigo's owners, the report said. Virgin was not immediately available to comment, while TeliaSonera and Yoigo declined to comment. More »

  • TFI Friday returns - 8 memorable moments from last time round
    TFI Friday returns - 8 memorable moments from last time round Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    Chris Evans’ TV kick-start to the weekend is back on our screens – here’s our highlights from its heyday. More »

  • Punk rockers Sex Pistols to appear on credit cards
    Punk rockers Sex Pistols to appear on credit cards Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    (L-R) Paul Cook, John Lydon, Steve Jones and Glen Matlock of the British punk group the Sex Pistols are seen in London on March 18, 1996 More »

  • Find out how you can carry the Sex Pistols around in your pocket
    Find out how you can carry the Sex Pistols around in your pocket Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    The punk rockers will feature on a range of credit cards for Virgin Money. More »

  • Sex Pistols to star on credit cards
    Sex Pistols to star on credit cards Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    It may not have been what was first intended when they sang "I am an antichrist, I am an anarchist", but punk band the Sex Pistols are to lend their name to a new range of credit cards. More »

  • Here’s why the real villain of today’s Maths Paper 2 was a woman named Joan
    Here’s why the real villain of today’s Maths Paper 2 was a woman named Joan Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    Leaving Cert students have no love for Joan. More »

  • Richard Branson posed naked with a fish and the internet obviously took the …
  • Tubular Bells composer Mike Oldfield mourning sudden death of son Dougal
    Tubular Bells composer Mike Oldfield mourning sudden death of son Dougal Thu, May 21, 2015

    Oldfield’s 33-year-old son collapsed and died of natural causes on Sunday. More »

  • Mike Oldfield mourns death of son
    Mike Oldfield mourns death of son Thu, May 21, 2015

    Composer Mike Oldfield has thanked fans for their messages of support after the sudden death of his eldest son Dougal. More »

  • Ride-sharing service Sidecar adds marijuana delivery
    Ride-sharing service Sidecar adds marijuana delivery Tue, May 12, 2015

    Ride-sharing service Sidecar on Tuesday added medical marijuana to the list of goods it will promptly deliver to customers in San Francisco. More »

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' rocket company test-flies suborbital spaceship
    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' rocket company test-flies suborbital spaceship Fri, May 1, 2015

    Blue Origin – a start-up space company owned by Amazon.com chief Jeff Bezos – launched an experimental suborbital spaceship from Texas, the first in a series of test-flights to develop commercial unmanned and passenger spaceflight services, the company said on Thursday (30 April). The New Shepard vehicle blasted off on Wednesday (29 April) from Blue Origin's test facility near Van Horn, Texas, and rose to an altitude of 58 miles before the capsule separated and parachuted to Earth. Blue Origin is among a handful of companies developing privately owned spaceships to fly experiments, satellites and passengers into space. Like Virgin Galactic, a US offshoot of Richard Branson's London-based Virgin Group, and privately owned XCOR Aerospace, Blue Origin is eyeing suborbital spaceflights, which reach altitudes of about 62 miles, as a stepping stone to orbital flight. More »

  • Virgin Money grabs bigger piece of mortgage lending pie Fri, May 1, 2015

    British bank Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc said gross mortgage lending jumped 34 percent in the first quarter, helping it win a 3.6 percent share of the UK mortgage market. The bank, backed by founder Richard Branson and U.S. financier Wilbur Ross, said it started the second quarter with a strong mortgage pipeline and continued to expect net interest margins of up to 160 basis points in 2015. "We have reasonably been able to achieve a 3-3.5 percent mortgage lending market share till date, which is at the top end of our expectation outlined at the time of the float," Chief Executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the first female CEO of a listed British bank, told Reuters. Gross mortgage lending rose to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.46 billion) while net mortgage lending increased 82 percent during January-March to 664 million pounds. More »

  • Jeff Bezos' Rocket Company Test-Flies Suborbital Spaceship
    Jeff Bezos' Rocket Company Test-Flies Suborbital Spaceship Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Blue Origin, a startup space company owned by Amazon.com chief Jeff Bezos, launched an experimental suborbital spaceship from Texas, the first in a series of test flights to develop commercial unmanned and passenger spaceflight services, the company said on Thursday. The New Shepard vehicle blasted off on Wednesday from Blue Origin’s test facility near Van Horn, Texas, and rose to an altitude of 58 miles (93 km) before the capsule separated and parachuted back to Earth. “Fortunately, we’ve already been in work for some time on an improved hydraulic system ... We’ll be ready to fly again soon." Blue Origin is among a handful of companies developing privately owned spaceships to fly experiments, satellites and passengers into space. Like Virgin Galactic, a U.S. offshoot of Richard Branson’s London-based Virgin Group, and privately owned XCOR Aerospace, Blue Origin is eyeing suborbital spaceflights, which reach altitudes of about 62 miles (100 km), as a stepping stone to orbital flight. More »

  • Rich get richer in UK index of wealthiest people
    Rich get richer in UK index of wealthiest people Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    Ukraine-born businessman Len Blavatnik has been named the wealthiest man in Britain in a rich list being released Sunday studded with members of the international jet set living in London. More »

  • What recession? Ireland’s richest people wealthier now than during Celtic T …
    What recession? Ireland’s richest people wealthier now than during Celtic T … Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    You have to be worth at least £100 million to get on the list. More »

  • Richest Person In UK Revealed In Annual List
    Richest Person In UK Revealed In Annual List Sun, Apr 26, 2015

    Ukrainian-born Len Blavatnik, owner of Warner Music Group, has topped the Sunday Times Rich List with a £13.17bn fortune. Jumping from fourth last year, Mr Blavatnik is now estimated to be the richest person in the UK – despite being an American citizen. The 57-year-old edged out last year’s top dogs, Sri and Gopi Hinduja, owners of the Hinduja Group, who have £13bn. Mr Blavatnik’s investments have included stakes in Spotify and headphone-maker Beats Electronics, and in 2011 he bought Warner for $3.3bn in cash. More »

  • Betting hots up on Britain's royal baby
    Betting hots up on Britain's royal baby Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Punters are placing all manner of wacky bets on Britain's royal baby, chancing their cash on everything from the name of the new prince or princess to who gets their congratulations tweet in first. More »

  • Branson applauds UK anti-slavery law, urges firms to clean up supply chains
    Branson applauds UK anti-slavery law, urges firms to clean up supply chains Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has defended a new British law designed to stamp out modern day slavery against criticism that it does not do enough to tackle forced labour in supply chains. Under the new legislation, British businesses will have to disclose what action they have taken to ensure slave labour has not been used in their products and services. More »

  • South Africa's Brait to pay $1 billion for control of Branson co-owned Virgin …
    South Africa's Brait to pay $1 billion for control of Branson co-owned Virgin … Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Tiisetso Motsoeneng JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African investment house Brait SE is to pay 682 million pounds ($1 billion) for a controlling stake in gym group Virgin Active, Brait said on Thursday, seeking to tap the growing health-conscious middle classes particularly in Africa and Asia. The fitness chain, jointly owned by the Virgin Group of entrepreneur Richard Branson and buyout firm CVC Capital Partners, has 267 gyms across nine countries including in South Africa, home to the largest number of Virgin Active clubs, Thailand and Britain. Brait said it will buy an 80 percent stake in Virgin Active for 682 million pounds, valuing the gym chain at 1.3 billion pounds, including debt. More »