British businessman Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Orbit, known for launching small satellites into space, will make its entry into the stock market. It will happen later this year through a reverse merger process.
As per the available data, the deal is expected to close in the last three months of 2021. And it will enjoy a value of $3.2 billion. The listing will take place on the NASDAQ under the ticker VORB.
Virgin Orbit and Virgin Galatic are two space-focused companies of Richard Branson. And the former is different from the latter. Last month, Virgin Galactic made news for its suborbital space tourism as it flew Branson on a trip to the edge of space.
In 2017, Virgin Orbit separated from Virgin Galactic as the latter decided to go public through its SPAC deal in 2019. The company mainly focuses on launching lightweight satellites into space through its air-launching method.
SPACs – A Popular Means for Startups to Enter the Stock Market
Virgin Orbit has completed the three successful flights. Its 70-foot-long Launcher One rocket has seen the take-off under the wing of a Boeing 747 jet. Then, it follows the root over the Pacific Ocean.
For some time, SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have gained traction among startups to make their debut in the stock market. Particularly, startups in experimental fields prefer this way.
SPACs consider a firm as a shell company and list it on the stock market for the public. It allows the public to invest in it and facilitates the SPAC controllers to look for an acquisition target.
NextGen Acquisition Corp. II is the SPAC that will take over Virgin Orbit. It made its entry into the stock market in March this year and it enjoyed a market value of over $500 million till Monday morning.
Investors to Enjoy Major Ownership Over the Company
Usually, investors are uncertain about SPAC companies because it attracts companies that don’t go public. But Wall Street has become a supporter of SPACs.
Virgin Orbit investors would enjoy a major share of 85% in the ownership over the company once its SPAC deal closes. These investors are Virgin Group, Mubadala Investment Company, the Emirati sovereign wealth fund, management, and employees.
As per the available public data, Virgin Orbit has around $300 million worth of contracts in line. And it is expected to attract over $2 billion in revenue by 2026. This is simply by selling services to government customers and commercial satellite operators.