Comment: Virgin boss faces questions over float timing

Video: Alex Lawson gives his views on the current questions being asked of Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson

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The Independent Online

Sometimes in business, it’s all about timing. If you’re a CEO looking to exit or a company launching a new range, getting your timing right is crucial.

So management at Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin should face questions over why they’re pushing the button on not one but two floats now. With the investigators still picking through the wreckage of Friday’s fatal Virgin Galactic space crash, imminent listings for Virgin Money in London and airline Virgin America in the US are puzzlingly on the agenda.

Virgin Money has pressed ahead with plans for its £2 billion flotation and Branson is set to pocket millions. The IPO had been shelved last month amid fears over global stock markets.

While Branson has become the face of the British entrepreneur over the last four decades, not even his chummy public relationship with sprinter Usain Bolt may prevent him from looking greedy, callous and out of touch. Watch this space.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty going on in the City as JP Morgan today revealed it has set aside $6 billion dollars for the foreign exchange rigging probe, infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty’s finance chief has left following a string of profits warnings and surging Primark sales have helped lift profits at owner AB Foods.