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Billionaire Lineup: Spring Has Sprung, Vaccines Are Out, Billionaire Space Mission All Set To Go

Hello partygoers! The start of spring brings with it longer days and warmer temperatures. Our favorite millionaires are still out there having the time of their life, as usual.



Hello partygoers! The start of spring brings with it longer days and warmer temperatures. Our favorite millionaires are still out there having the time of their life, as usual. The three individuals who will travel with billionaire Jared Isaacman on a SpaceX mission to the moon have been chosen. Jim Justice, the contentious governor of West Virginia, is no longer a billionaire. And finally, a Swiss billionaire who lives in Wyoming wants to buy Tribune Publishing, the parent company of “The Daily News,” “The Baltimore Sun,” and “The Chicago Tribune.” People, fasten your seatbelts; here is the most recent Billionaire Roundup.

An oligarch In space
In order to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Jared Isaacman purchased the entirety of the Inspiration 4 SpaceX mission to the moon. The two most recent co-astronauts that he selected both turn out to be ardent space enthusiasts. Sian Proctor is a scientist from Tempe, Arizona who teaches science at a community college. Proctor outbid 200 companies to win the seat held for a client of Isaacson’s business, Shift4payments. Proctor submitted three applications to the NASA astronaut corps. Her father shared a NASA tracking station with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong during the Apollo moon missions. Chris Sembroski, a former missileman in the Air Force, is from Everett, Washington. His college friend actually won the seat and gifted it to Sembroski, who was a counselor at Space Camp in college and volunteered for a number of space advocacy groups. Hayler Arceneau, 29, a physician’s assistant at St. Jude, is the third passenger. As a young child, she received treatment for bone cancer at St. Jude’s. The spacecraft’s commander will be Isaacman.

At the moment, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is stationed at the International Space Station. It will take off no later than mid-September and ascend to a height of 335 kilometers. The spacecraft will be 75 miles higher than the International Space Station as a result.

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Getty Images/Hunter Martin

Jim Justice, the governor, is no longer a billionaire.
North Carolina Jim Justice, the governor, amassed wealth when he sold Bluestone Ventures, a group of coal mines, in 2009 for $500 million. With a $1.1 billion net worth as a result of the deal, he was propelled into the billionaire club. At its peak, his net worth was $1.68 billion. But since then, the coal sector, in which he owned stock, has collapsed. He had to acquire Bluestone back from the Russian business he had sold it to. He did this in exchange for $5 million and $300 million in legal and environmental duties. It appears that the Russians mismanaged the business and left it in a state of disarray. Eventually, Justice and his son were able to bring the business back to profitability, but they required funding to do it. He therefore obtained the first of several loans from Greensill Capital that would total $850 million in the end. In response to Greensill’s bankruptcy filing in the United Kingdom in March, Justice’s $850 million in loans have now been called in. Assuming he uses some of his $1.68 billion net worth to pay them off, this brings his net worth down below a billion dollars.

The PGA Tour’s tournament at Justice’s Greenbrier Hotel was permanently canceled last year, which was additional bad news for Justice and his wealth. The property was badly damaged in a 2016 flood and it appears it has yet to be fully repaired despite a reported $200 million Justice and his insurance company have paid for renovations.

Justice’s $850 million debt to Greensill will probably be settled for pennies on the dollar. Until then though, he really can’t be considered a billionaire when half his net worth is tied up in debt.

Swiss Billionaire From Wyoming Offers To Buy Newspaper Empire
Eighty-year-old Swiss millionaire Hansjorg Wyss has partnered with Maryland-based hotelier Stewart W. Bainum Jr. to make a bid for Tribune Publishing. As the former CEO of the medical device business Synthes, Wyss amassed wealth. Wyss is a supporter of the environment and has contributed a sizeable sum of his wealth to the protection of animal areas in Maine, Montana, and Wyoming. According to reports, he wants to purchase Tribune Publishing because he thinks the US needs a stronger press. The current owner, a hedge company by the name of Alden Global Capital, has a reputation for substantially reducing costs at the newspapers it owns. Alden has an agreement to acquire the remaining shares of Tribune Publishing for $17.25 a share and currently owns a 32 percent stake in the business. In that agreement, Bainum also received the authority to form a nonprofit organization and pay $65 million to purchase the “Baltimore Sun” and two other newspapers in Maryland owned by the Tribune Company. When that transaction fell through, Bainum went to Wyss for assistance. The wealthy Swiss businessman has no trouble giving Bainum control of the Maryland newspapers. He intends to find buyers for the seven other daily newspapers held by Tribune and wants the company’s leading publication. Wyss only wants to make the “Chicago Tribune” greater than it has ever been, and he thinks he can do it alone.

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