The Mideast investment fund with the biggest stake in Mercedes-Benz' parent is paying about $280 million to buy nearly a third of commercial space travel startup Virgin Galactic.
The investment will give Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments a 32 percent stake and rights to eventually launch Virgin Galactic from the United Arab Emirates capital.
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Aabar is the first outside investor in the spaceflight company, which has been owned fully by Richard Branson's Virgin Group. The deal values Virgin Galactic at about $875 million.
Aabar recently has emerged as one of Abu Dhabi's most active funds. It bought 9.1 percent of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler in March, and earlier this month bought 4 percent of electric car producer Tesla Motors.