Richard Branson IPOs Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit

A modified Boeing 747 carries Virgin Orbit’s “LauncherOne” rocket.

(Photo: Reuters)

Bangalore The British billionaire Richard Branson brings another company from his corporate universe to the stock exchange. The space company Virgin Orbit is to be placed via an investment vehicle and come to a market value of 3.2 billion dollars. The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing is participating in the transaction, as Virgin Orbit announced on Monday. In total, the company, which was founded in 2017 to separate satellite operations from Virgin Galactic’s aerospace tourism operations, will receive $ 100 million from investors.

Branson wants to bring Virgin Orbit to the US technology exchange Nasdaq as part of a so-called SPAC deal. As part of this, a merger with the investment vehicle NextGen Acquisition Corp. planned, which was started by a former Goldman Sachs banker.

The so-called Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) are currently in vogue, especially in the USA. These empty company covers are usually launched by well-known managers or investors and brought to the stock exchange. Your goal is to take over an operationally active company and thereby help it to be listed on the stock exchange. Since the subscribers of SPAC shares do not initially know who the takeover target will be, SPACs are also referred to as “blank check companies”.

Branson has made a fortune in the music and aviation industries with his conglomerate Virgin Group. Two years ago he floated the space company Virgin Galactic, which is supposed to offer tourist flights into space. In mid-July, Branson took off into space with his VSS Unity spaceplane from the small town of Truth or Consequences. Virgin Orbit is developing an airborne launcher from which small satellites will be launched. The US space agency NASA works with Virgin Orbit.

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