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By Tom Bower

The picture is still pristine: a charismatic high-school dropout grew to become billionaire, whose stratospheric upward push and bold exploits have received him hundreds of thousands of tolerating admirers and made him a version for aspiring marketers in the course of the international. yet is that this tale nonetheless credible? during the last decade, has Branson matched the expectancies perpetuated via Virgin's relentless exposure computing device? Or have all of us been seduced by means of a super showman? In his such a lot explosive publication thus far, Tom Bower, bestselling biographer of Simon Cowell, Bernie Ecclestone, Conrad Black and Robert Maxwell, dares to discover the truth of the Branson empire. In doing so, he unravels the gripping tale of his fresh actions - from the incredible good fortune of cellphones to his airways and his lengthy not on time plan to ship multimillionaires into house - and asks even if he particularly is still Britain's heroic buccaneer.

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Sample text

Virgin Atlantic Airways (GB) is owned by Virgin Travel Group (GB), which in turn is owned by Virgin Atlantic (GB), which is owned by Bluebottle Investments (UK) Ltd (GB), which is owned by Bluebottle UK Ltd (GB), which is owned by Virgin Holdings Ltd (GB), which is owned by Classboss Ltd (GB), which is owned by Virgin Wings Ltd (GB), which is owned by Bluebottle USA Mobile Inc. (BVI), which is owned by Virgin Group Investments Ltd (BVI), which is finally owned by Virgin Group Holdings Ltd (BVI).

Homans had become a Branson zealot. After reading about the rocket’s success in the Mojave and watching Branson’s video promotion of Virgin Galactic, Homans had found a hero. ’ Listing the names of other states that had been enriched by the space and aviation industries, Homans described Branson’s space venture as New Mexico’s ‘biggest economic opportunity for decades. ’ If Virgin Galactic moved to New Mexico, Homans told Richardson, he would create over 3,000 new jobs and, according to one study, earn the state about $750 million by 2020.

During the countdown to the disaster, May had enjoyed the carnival atmosphere around the fence and encouraged his two colleagues to join him and get a closer view. Now, a pathologist was assembling his body parts for examination, and an undertaker had been summoned to deliver three coffins. Burt Rutan, the Scaled director responsible for developing Virgin Galactic’s rocket, was attending a conference in Palm Springs. ‘I didn’t know that nitrous oxide was that dangerous,’ he later said. Taking risks, he added, was normal for pioneers.

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