The Daily Dish (08/23/21)

Virgin Orbit Planning $3.2 Billion SPAC Listing 

Satellite launch service provider Virgin Orbit is going public through a SPAC merger with NextGen Acquisition Corp in a deal that values the company at $3.2 Billion. The deal includes a PIPE placement of $100 million from the likes of Boeing and AE Industrial Partners.

The company offers a unique ‘Air Launch’ mechanism of sending satellites to orbit with small launch systems. The deal is expected to generate $483 million in proceeds after the merger.

Virgin Orbit will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker ‘VORB’. Virgin Orbit was spun off from Billionaire Richard Branson’s space tourism company in 2017. The company reached space for the first time in January this year when it delivered ten NASA satellites to orbit, after a failed attempt last year.

Virgin Orbit’s government services unit is selling launches to the US Military and won a $35 million contract with the US Space Force for three missions last year.

Shareholders Approve Rocket Lab SPAC Deal 

Shareholders of Vector Acquisition Corporation approved a deal to merge with Rocket Lab, which is expected to boost the small launch vehicle developer with cash.

The approval means that Rocket Lab will become a publicly-traded company on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ‘RKLB’. Less than 3% of shareholders elected to redeem their shares, resulting in a payout of nearly $9.7 million.

Rocket Lab will receive $777 million in proceeds including the PIPE placements. The funding is expected to help develop a medium-class launch vehicle called Neutron and also support the company’s operations of its Electron rocket and Photon satellite bus.

LumiraDx to Cut $2 Billion off SPAC Deal 

The drop in demand for Covid-19 screening has led to LumiraDx to drastically cut back its plans for going public, slashing $2 billion off its SPAC deal. The UK based diagnostics company aimed to list on Nasdaq with SPAC CA Healthcare Acquisition at a $5 Billion valuation.

Now the company is knocking 40% off its valuation citing the market environment for publicly traded diagnostic companies have changed following feedback from advisors and shareholders.

By late may, covid test producers industry-wide had begun to see their sales evaporate much faster than predicted by factors such as the success of vaccines, falling case rates and guidance from the US government to say that fully vaccinated people can skip testing after exposure to the virus.

The company has also reduced its revenue guidance for 2021, from $1 Billion to $500 million.

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