Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit To Go Public Via SPAC Deal Worth $3.2 Billion

Virgin Orbit to go public through a SPAC, Long Beach, USA - 23 Aug 2021

Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, a company within the Virgin Group that provides launch services for small satellites, is set to go public through a merger with NextGen Acquisition at a valuation of $3.2 billion. Virgin Orbit reached space for the first time in January when it delivered ten NASA satellites to orbit after a failed attempt last year, Reuters reported.

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“I’m very excited we are taking Virgin Orbit public, with the support of our partners at NextGen and our other wonderful investors,” Branson said in a statement. “It’s another milestone for empowering all of those working today to build space technology that will positively change the world.”

The deal with NextGen includes $100 million in funding from Boeing, AE Industrial Partners and others in the form of private investment in public equity, or PIPE. According to Seeking Alpha, existing Virgin Orbit shareholders will roll 100% of their equity into the combined company.

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NextGen’s shareholders and existing Virgin Orbit shareholders are expected to retain 85% ownership, Seeking Alpha noted, while NextGen’s public shareholders are expected to own roughly 10% with PIPE investors and the SPAC sponsor is expected to own approximately 3% and 2%, respectively.

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After the merger, Virgin Orbit will list on the Nasdaq as “VORB.” The deal is expected to provide $483 million in proceeds to the combined company. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

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Last updated: August 24, 2021

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Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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