British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Silicon Valley-based Virgin America, is sorely disappointed about his airline’s proposed merger with Alaska Air Group. “There was sadly nothing I could do to stop it,” Branson wrote in an open letter.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit sadness that our wonderful airline is merging with another. Because I’m not American, the US Department of Transportation stipulated I take some of my shares in Virgin America as non-voting shares, reducing my influence over any takeover. So there was sadly nothing I could do to stop it.
The merger still must be approved by U.S. regulators and Virgin America shareholders.