Branson to launch a new line of luxury cruises - who's investing in it?

Sir Richard Branson is set to launch a new line of luxury cruises.

Called Virgin Cruises, the venture is expected to get investment from Bain Capital, the investment firm that’s invested in Toys R Us.

According to Sky News, Virgin will inject more than $100m (£63m) in the project.

Other investors in the project would include a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund and other “high net worth individuals”.

The project is expected to launch by 2019.

“Cruises is a classic Virgin market, dominated by two or three players and where the product needs to be refreshed,” an insider told Sky News.

In November, a Virgin Galactic spacecraft crashed, killing a test pilot. This put question marks on Branson’s ambitious Virgin Galactic project which aims to send tourists into space in 2015.

The project was ridiculed for neglecting safety warnings and its financial viability.

Tomasso Sgobba, executive director of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, said that Virgin’s use of hybrid solid fuel and oxygen motors posed a safety threat.

“This has created quite a lot of concerns between the safety experts that the company was potentially on a difficult path,” Sgobba told the FT.

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