Virgin Orbit to Go Public via SPAC in $3 Billion Deal 

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Virgin Orbit to Go Public via SPAC in $3 Billion Deal 
Photo: Virgin Orbit

Notably, Virgin Group owns 80% of Virgin Orbit shares, with Mubadala Development Company owning 20%. 

Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) founder Sir Richard Branson is reportedly planning to take his satellite launch company Virgin Orbit public at a $3 billion valuation through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). A source confirmed to CNBC that Virgin Orbit is in discussion with special purpose acquisition company NextGen Acquisition II, led by former Goldman Sachs partner George N. Mattson.

Virgin Orbit to Announce SPAC Deal in Coming Weeks

According to people familiar with the matter, details of the deal could be announced in a few weeks. Virgin Orbit has been looking to go public through a SPAC over the past few months. Sources said that the company had tried to collaborate with several prospective partners regarding the deal.

Virgin Orbit’s decision to use NextGen would be beneficial to the company. Virgin Galactic director Mr. Mattson is skilled in the aviation field and has worked for Delta Air Lines for almost nine years. Apart from working as a director with Delta Air Lines, Mr. Mattson was also a partner at Goldman Sachs. At Goldman, Mattson worked with several clients in the general industrials sector for ten years.

A successful merger will signify Sir Richard’s move to build a multibillion-dollar business in the technology space. This is not the first time Sir Richard would be entering a deal with a Special acquisition company. The Virgin Group’s founder combined Virgin Galactic with SPAC Social Capital Hedosophia (NYSE: IPOF) in 2019.

Notably, Virgin Group owns 80% of Virgin Orbit shares, with Mubadala Development Company owning 20%.

Other than the ground-based system, Virgin Orbit utilizes a more flexible method when launching its rockets. The company conducts an air-launch by using an improved Boeing 747 aircraft. With this Virgin Orbit’s, LauncherOne speeds up to about 45,000 feet altitude before dropping them, after which the engine ignites and ascends into space.

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne

Virgin Orbit designed LauncherOne to transport light satellites weighing up to 500 kgs or about 1,100 pounds into space. The company has plans to conclude another launch later this month after its initial launch in January. At the initial launch, Virgin Orbit released ten small satellites into space from its base in California. Apart from Virgin Orbit, RocketLabs is the only commercial satellite operator to have attained this success.

In addition, the company is planning to launch more satellites into space from the Cornish base at the end of 2022. Also, the company plans more launches from California, Japan, and Guam.

Virgin Galactic has been pulling in gains over the past year. The company has added more than 134% in the last twelve months and has grown nearly 48% in its year-to-date record. Additionally, the spaceflight company’s stock has increased by 1.59% in the last three months, surging further by 116.94& over the past month. Records show that SPCE has upped 11.85% in the last five days. At press time, Virgin Galactic stock is at a premarket trading price of $35.42%, a 0.91% gain over its previous close of $ $35.10.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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