Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is allegedly being sued by a former chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Lines, who claims the entrepreneur stole his idea for two “ultra ships”.
In court papers filed in Miami, Colin Veitch claims that the “dark side of Virgin quickly emerged” after he presented his ideas to Branson on his private Caribbean island.
Veitch’s 2012 proposals were to build two 2,408 cabin vessels, capable of carrying up to 5,000 passengers each. The ships also included surf machines and bowling alleys.
According to a report in The Times, Virgin would have earned royalties of between $427 million and $482 million over a decade.
Veitch is now suing Virgin for $300 million.
A spokesman for Branson said: “Richard Branson and the Virgin Group first looked at the cruise market in the late 70s, and our current team has been exploring the opportunity for more than a decade.
“Over the years, we have been in discussions with a number of parties including the plaintiff, and those discussions ceased in 2012. We strongly believe the claim has no merits.”