British billionaire Richard Branson has a very diverse repertoire of companies, from cruise ships to hotels or telecommunications operators. And until recently, it also boasted a satellite launch service. After laying off nearly its entire workforce and suspending operations indefinitely, Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy. It has now sold its ‘remnants’ for around 36 million, which is less than 1% of its first price on the stock market. The firm entered the market through a SPAC (a special purpose purchase company).
Virgin Orbit has sold its rocket plane to another aerospace firm, Stratolaunch Systems, for $17 million, described in bankruptcy court documents. Another company in the sector, Rocket Lab, has acquired its rocket factory in California, United States, for $16.1 million. Finally, the launcher gets a test center, the Mojave facility, located in the California desert, for $2.7 million, according to the same document. While details are yet to be revealed, startup Vast Space will buy a booster.
During the bankruptcy process, those interested in the company’s assets make offers and bid for them, which are ultimately awarded to the highest bidder. In the case of Virgin Orbit, no one wanted to acquire the entire business, but It had to end in pieces. It is difficult to predict when the firm will hit the market in the summer of 2021 with a valuation of $3.7 billion. So the money was flowing in and the SPACs were winning.
Exactly two years later, the context is very different and Virgin Orbit funding not received To save the project. In February, its first orbital launch from the UK failed, further complicating raising funds with rising interest rates and a sluggish investment climate. If you look at its other competitors like Elon Musk’s Starlink, it is a tough task.
Virgin Orbit’s proposal, set aside for offer satellite launch horizontally From a converted Boeing 747, it also did not turn out. Typically, launch into orbit is performed with a vertical propulsion. The firm was a division of Virgin Galactic, Branson’s aerospace tourism company, which offers trips into suborbital space to see the planet from the outside.
Following the bankruptcy, last month, the stock exchange operator, the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, announced a suspension of listing, a decision which Virgin Orbit tried to appeal, as announced at the time. Nasdaq expelled it from the market for not complying with basic listing rules, for example, for not submitting relevant updates on its financial position, but also for the loss of the company’s value. The final value quoted by its shares is $0.02. Its maximum price in January 2022 was $11. But since then, its price has only moved in a downward direction.
According to the Forbes list, Richard Branson is among the 1,000 richest people in the world with a net worth of $3,000 million. A figure that has declined following the injection of money into Virgin Orbit, a company that seems to be causing more problems than joy.