Another Virgin in Space

The Daily Dish (6/12/21)

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Branson plots $3bn SPAC merger to launch Virgin Orbit on to stock market

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit plans first space launch

Sir Richard Branson is in advanced talks about a multibillion dollar merger to take Virgin Orbit, his satellite launch company, on to the US public markets.

Virgin Orbit has been seeking a SPAC deal for several months and has engaged in talks with multiple prospective partners, according to people close to the process.

Virgin Orbit was spun out of Virgin Galactic four years ago, and is now run by chief executive Dan Hart, a former Boeing executive.

Arqit itself has just unveiled plans to go public via a SPAC, with Virgin Orbit among the investors in the deal, having also agreed an alliance as Arqit’s satellite launch partner.

Among the remaining questions relating to Virgin Orbit’s SPAC merger will be the size and backers of its so-called PIPE – referring to the private investors in public equity which will help to fund the deal.

For Sir Richard, the crystallisation of a $2.5bn paper windfall by taking Virgin Orbit onto the New York stock markets will add another sizeable chunk to his wealth.

Virgin Orbit is being advised by Credit Suisse and Liontree Advisors, while Goldman is acting for NextGen on the merger talks.

Valo Health Announces Merger with SPAC

Valo Health, a technology company which uses human-centric data and artificial intelligence powered computation to transform the drug discovery is going public via an SPAC. 

The company is expected to merge with Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co at a pro forma market value of approximately $2.8 billion. The firm is expected to have a cash balance of $750 million before accounting for the transaction. 

The company bellies that AI and high throughput automation along with traditional drug development expertise will improve drug discovery in a dramatic way and reduce the significant failure rate inherent in traditional drug development. 

NextNav Planning SPAC

NextNav is approaching a merger with Spartacus Acquisition Corp. Spartacus focuses on trading in telecommunications, media and technology industries. The deal is expected to value the next generation GPS company at approximately $1.2 billion. 

NextNav, which was founded in 2007, states that it can identify specific indoor locations for devices such as which floor of the building the platform is on. NextNav also owns a license to use wireless radio waves that support nationwide communications networks.

NextNav is expected to generate approximately $410 million in cash through the transaction from the funds held by the SPAC. NextNav’s current investors include funds managed by Fortress and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. 

The Headlines


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