Virgin Orbit Plans To Become Public With $3.2 Billion SPAC

  • Tech
  • December 9, 2022
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Virgin Orbit will go public through a secondary public offering. Why? Ultimately, this has to do with the need for businesses to use capital to grow. Solutions range from private investors, private equity firms, and in this case, since Virgin Orbit is public and isn’t raising money outside of their Current shareholders it can do what’s called a SPAC – short for “special purpose acquisition company,” which leaves less hassle in terms of compliance then going through an IPO.

What is Virgin Orbit?

Virgin Orbit plans to become a public company with the help of $1.6 billion from a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The SPAC is called Sadara Ventures, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Founded in 2004, Virgin Orbit is headquartered in Long Beach, California. The company has developed a LauncherOne rocket, designed to be air-launched from a modified Boeing 747-400 carrier aircraft known as Cosmic Girl.

LauncherOne is capable of carrying payloads of up to 700 kg to low Earth orbit, making it ideal for small satellites. The company has carried out several successful test flights of the rocket, and is now moving towards commercial operations.

The move will value Virgin Orbit at $3.3 billion and will give the company the capital it needs to expand its business and continue developing new launch vehicles. It also marks a significant milestone for the private space industry, which has seen a number of companies go public in recent years through SPACs or traditional IPOs.

The incredible journey it’s been on and how it got to where it is today

It’s been quite a journey for Virgin Orbit.

The company was founded in 2004 as part of Virgin Group’s efforts to get into the commercial space business. It initially focused on developing technology for launching small satellites into orbit using modified 747 jumbo jets.

In 2013, Virgin Orbit spun out of Virgin Group, becoming its own independent company. Since then, it has continued to work on its launch technology and has also started providing launch services to customers.

Last year,Virgin Orbit made history when it successfully launched a rocket from a Boeing 747 jetliner for the first time. The milestone marked a significant step forward for the company and demonstrated its ability to provide a practical and affordable solution for getting small satellites into orbit.

Now, Virgin Orbit is preparing to take another big step forward. The company is planning to go public through a $1 billion SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) deal with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. This will give Virgin Orbit the capital it needs to continue expanding its business and pursue its vision of making space accessible to everyone.

The move will also make Virgin Orbit the first publicly-traded commercial space company in the U.S., giving it a valuable platform from which to grow even further.

How Virgin orbit plans to become public

Virgin Orbit plans to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), merging with a blank-check firm chaired by a longtime Virgin Group executive. The all-stock transaction would give the combined entity an equity value of about $2.8 billion and is expected to close in the second half of this year, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

This would be the first time that one of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson’s space companies has gone public. It comes as his Virgin Group prepares to spin off its space businesses, which include satellite launch provider Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (SPCE.N) and small satellite operator OneWeb Ltd, into a new publicly traded venture called Virgin Galactic Holdings plc later this month.

Under the deal announced on Tuesday, New York-listed Atairos will invest $400 million in Virgin Orbit in exchange for approximately 19% of the combined company’s outstanding shares. Atairos is a private investment firm created by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) in 2015 with more than $6 billion of committed capital from the U.S. cable operator and its subsidiaries NBCUniversal and Sky plc .

Virgin Orbit plans to use the proceeds from the deal to accelerate growth and drive down costs as it seeks to become profitable by 2023, Chief Executive Dan Hart said on a call with reporters. The 13-year-old company has so far launched 50 satellites into orbit for customers including NASA,

What about the risks of going public?

There are a few risks associated with going public, including:

1. The loss of control – When you go public, you are no longer the sole owner of your company. You will have to answer to shareholders and the Board of Directors.

2. The increased scrutiny – Going public means that your company will be under a microscope. Every move you make will be scrutinized by investors, analysts, and the media.

3. The risk of failure – If your company does not perform well after going public, it can be difficult to recover. Your stock price will take a hit and you may even be forced to delist from the exchange.

4. The costs – Going public is not cheap. You will need to hire investment bankers, lawyers, and accountants to help you navigate the process. Plus, you will need to comply with all the regulations that come with being a public company.


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