Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit Deal On Rocks After Saudi Arabia Murder Mystery

Investments in two local, Mojave-based companies--Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit--are on hold this week, after the mysterious disappearance--and suspected murder==of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last week. In a statement issued last week, Sir Richard Branson said that Virgin has suspended discusions with the Saudi Arabian Public investment Fund, over a proposed billion dollar investment in Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit. Khashoggi, a journalist based in the U.S. and working for the Washington Post. Turkish officials claim that they have audio of Khashoggi being killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish officials claim Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate. Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit are not the only companies to potentially be impacted by the political intrigue: Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One also has close ties to the Saudi investors, as does Venice, California-based Snap, which had been in talks to set up offices in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal acquired $250M worth of Snap--or rougly, 2.3 percent--back in August.


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