Latest Richard Branson News

  • Virgin-backed OneWeb plans to raise $2.5bn in fresh funding round
    Virgin-backed OneWeb plans to raise $2.5bn in fresh funding round Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    The start-up, which is backed by the likes of Airbus, Coca-Cola, Qualcomm and Virgin, is to court investment banks with a view towards raising fresh cash in late 2016. OneWeb, based in the Channel Islands, plans to place about 650 geosynchronous "micro" satellites in low Earth orbit to extend the reach of internet connectivity to people in remote corners of the world. A OneWeb spokesman told Sky News that the project had received "considerable interest" from investors. More »

  • Ukip to launch its own No campaign for EU referendum
    Ukip to launch its own No campaign for EU referendum Tue, Sep 1, 2015

    Ukip will this week launch its own campaign for a No vote in the upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union, separate from two existing campaigns, leader Nigel Farage has said. More »

  • Branson-Backed OneWeb Eyes $2.5bn Launchpad
    Branson-Backed OneWeb Eyes $2.5bn Launchpad Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    A satellite venture designed to provide low-cost internet access to billions of people and backed by Sir Richard Branson is preparing to raise billions of dollars as it seeks to get off the launchpad. Sky News has learnt that OneWeb, whose shareholders include some of the world’s biggest companies, is to hold a beauty parade of investment banks ahead of a fundraising planned for next year. The talks with bankers, which are at an early stage, follow a $500m investment in OneWeb in June as it seeks to build a network of solar-powered terminals that will be connected to almost 650 ‘micro satellites’ in low-earth orbit. More »

  • Shania Twain 50th birthday: Facts about the 'Feel Like A Woman' singer …
    Shania Twain 50th birthday: Facts about the 'Feel Like A Woman' singer … Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    With her youthful looks and incredibly successful career, it may be hard to believe that country singer Shania Twain is celebrating her 50th birthday on 28 August. Over the course of her music career, which has spanned more than two decades, the Any Man Of Mine singer has earned herself five Grammy awards, stars on both the Canada and Hollywood Walks of Fame and has sold more than 85 million records worldwide making her one of the best-selling artists of all time. Fans may know Twain's back catalogue inside out but even the singer's most devoted supporters may be surprised to learn these hidden facts about the musician. More »

  • From volleys to ventures: Andy Murray dips into crowdfunding
    From volleys to ventures: Andy Murray dips into crowdfunding Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    By Freya Berry LONDON (Reuters) - British tennis player Andy Murray has ventured into crowdfunding. The world No.2 has made three investments of an undisclosed sum on London-based crowdfunding platform Seedrs, as the sector that allows large numbers of people to invest small amounts of capital to finance a business venture continues to move into the mainstream. Murray has invested in healthy eating chain Tossed, which has already raised more than its 750,000 pound target. More »

  • Satellite Firm Avanti Fuelled By £80m Deal
    Satellite Firm Avanti Fuelled By £80m Deal Mon, Aug 17, 2015

    Sky News has learnt that Mast Capital Management, a Boston-based fund backed by the financial giant KKR, is to invest in a $125m (£80m) bond issue which is expected to be launched by Avanti Communications this week. It was unclear on Monday whether KKR would separately commit new funds alongside Mast, which is privately held and is also said to count the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen among its investors. Demand for privately funded satellite launches is exploding as telecoms and media companies compete to provide cheap internet services and products to consumers and businesses in fast-growing markets. More »

  • 11 celebrities sharing words of wisdom on A-level results day
    11 celebrities sharing words of wisdom on A-level results day Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    Whether you aced your exams or are currently sobbing into your laptop, these famous faces have some comforting words for you. More »

  • 'Underpants for superheroes' block radiation
    'Underpants for superheroes' block radiation Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    Smart underwear designed to protect male fertility from radiation emitted by smartphones and laptops has been unveiled by a British scientist. More »

  • Wonky Bread And Air Rage: When Gripes Go Viral
    Wonky Bread And Air Rage: When Gripes Go Viral Wed, Aug 12, 2015

    One of the funniest airline passenger complaint letters was written to Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson by an anonymous author who criticised the food on a flight as a "culinary journey of hell". Virgin said Sir Richard Branson telephoned the author and thanked him for his "constructive if tongue-in-cheek" email. The airline said Virgin was sorry the passenger had not liked the in-flight meals which it said was "award-winning food which is very popular on our Indian routes". More »

  • Kids Company: Who is embattled charity leader Camila Batmanghelidjh?
    Kids Company: Who is embattled charity leader Camila Batmanghelidjh? Fri, Aug 7, 2015

    Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh has been on the offensive in the wake of the closure of the charity this week, accusing the media and politicians of using the organisation as a political football over allegations of financial mismanagement and the failure to investigate a sexual assault. It has been a spectacular fall from grace for both Kids Company and Batmanghelidjh, once lauded by David Cameron, Prince Charles and a host of celebrities that donated millions of pounds to the charity that she founded 19 years ago and which shut its doors on Tuesday (4 August). Batmanghelidjh is a visible figure whose personality has always been part of the Kids Company legend. More »

  • Airbus submits patent for 'Son Of Concorde'
    Airbus submits patent for 'Son Of Concorde' Tue, Aug 4, 2015

    Airbus has filed a patent for a new supersonic jet similar to Concorde. The supersonic jet will reportedly cover the distance from London to New York in the span of simply an hour, according to the patent documents filed at the US Patents Office. More »

  • Cloverhill riot: Prisoners injured, two climb onto roof
    Cloverhill riot: Prisoners injured, two climb onto roof Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Officers in riot gear were sent to deal with the protest, after attempts to resolve it via negotiation failed. More »

  • 'Flamingos And Stars': How To Be Happy, By Virgin Billionaire Sir Richard B …
    'Flamingos And Stars': How To Be Happy, By Virgin Billionaire Sir Richard B … Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    On his Virgin blog, he stresses that we shouldn’t write and complete a to-do list but rather concentrate on achieving a ‘to-be list’ More »

  • Ricky Gervais and Cara Delevingne lead pack of celebrities horrified by Cecil …
    Ricky Gervais and Cara Delevingne lead pack of celebrities horrified by Cecil … Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Celebrities took to Twitter to express their outrage over the shooting of Cecil the Lion by an American dentist. More »

  • 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 »