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Bahrain, Qatar Considered Buying Stake In Virgin Galactic

ImageBahrani and Qatar governments discussed buying a stake in Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s space tourism company.   A private group from Abu Dhabi and a Saudi Arabian party also considered buying a stake in the company.    Virgin Galactic president said “We had discussions with lots of people, but we are not commenting on who we had discussions with.”   An industry source said at one point there were four different groups bidding to be partners with Mr. Branson.  

The news that Bahrain and Qatar, and other parties were interested in buying a stake in Virgin Galactic demonstrates the Gulf Region has a high level of interest in investing in space technology.  Last month Aabar Investments in Abu Dhabi purchased a 32% stake in Virgin Galactic, valuing the company at $900 million.  The agreement gives Aabar exclusive rights to operate Virgin Galactic space flights.  The company plans to build a spaceport in Abu Dhabi within five years.

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