RETALIATION

Report: Saudi Arabia Pulls Out of Planned Virgin Hyperloop Deal

Saudi Arabia pulled a planned deal with Virgin Hyperloop One after Richard Branson said he would suspend investment talks with the country due to concerns about Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, The Financial Times reports. Sources told the newspaper they were both “planning to sign a deal for a new feasibility study” for the project at the Future Investment Initiative, a Saudi Arabian investment conference in Riyadh. After Branson announced he would be suspending $1 billion investment talks with the country, there was reportedly a call an “hour and a half later” from the Saudis “disinviting Hyperloop from the conference.” “They killed the deal,” the source told the newspaper. This marks the country’s first retaliation against executives who have dropped out of attending the conference after Khashoggi’s alleged murder at Istanbul’s Saudi Arabian consulate.