Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Virgin Galactic Alleging Securities Fraud

Michael Colglazier (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A class action lawsuit was filed in New York on Dec. 7 alleging securities fraud by Virgin Galactic, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in October 2019 after merging with Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH).

Named in the lawsuit are Virgin Galactic Holdings, CEO Michael Colglazier, former CEO George Whitesides, former current chief financial officer Doug Ahrens, and former chief financial officer Jon Compagna.

The lawsuit was filed amid years-long delays in the start of commercial human suborbital flights that have caused a sharp decline in the value of the stock. Virgin Galactic began trading on the New York Stock Exchange at an opening price of $12.34 on Oct. 28, 2019. The stock is now trading at $14.46 having previously soared to a high of $62.80.

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dMY Technology Group Stockholders Approve Plan to Take Planet Labs Public

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet Labs PR) — Planet Labs Inc. (“Planet”), a leading provider of daily data and insights about earth, today announced that its proposed business combination with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ) (“dMY IV”), a special purpose acquisition company, was approved by dMY IV’s stockholders at its special meeting held on December 3, 2021.

Approximately 99% of the votes cast at the meeting on the business combination proposal voted to approve the transaction.

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FAA Examination of Blue Origin Safety Issues Likely to be Very Narrow

New Shepard launch (Credit: Blue Origin webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said it will examine safety issues about Blue Origin’s crewed suborbital New Shepard vehicle raised by a group of current and former employees in an open letter published on Thursday.

The announcement comes 11 days before four paying customers, one reported to be Star Trek star William Shatner, are scheduled to board New Shepard for a trip to space. While a federal safety review might sound reassuring to these ticket holders, what does it actually mean in practice?

Probably not much.

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Redwire Shares Surge on First Day of Trading on NYSE

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Shares of space infrastructure and manufacturing conglomerate Redwire (RDW) surged by 16.57 percent on Friday during the company’s first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock price rose by $1.74 to $12.24.

The debut came after shareholders of Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. overwhelmingly backed a merger with Redwire on Wednesday. Genesis Park was a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that was already traded on NYSE that was established by investors with the goal of finding a company with which to merge and take public.

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Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. and Redwire Announce Shareholder Approval of the Business Combination

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. and HOUSTON, Sept. 1, 2021 (Genesis Park PR) — Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. (“GPAC”) (NYSE: GNPK), a U.S. publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, and Redwire, LLC (“Redwire” or the “Company”), a leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced that at GPAC’s extraordinary general meeting held today (the “Extraordinary General Meeting”), GPAC’s shareholders voted to approve the previously announced proposed business combination between GPAC and Redwire (the “Business Combination”), as well as all other proposals related to the Business Combination. Approximately 97% of the votes cast at the meeting, representing approximately 73% of GPAC’s outstanding shares as of the record date, voted to approve the Business Combination.

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Spire Global Completes Merger, Goes Public Today on NYSE

  • Spire’s Common Stock to Commence Trading on NYSE Under the Ticker “SPIR”
  • Combined Company to Continue Providing Space-Based Data Solutions and Space Services to Global Customers
  • Gross Proceeds to Spire totaled $265 million, combining funds held in NavSight Holdings’ Trust and concurrent PIPE financing

VIENNA, Va. & RESTON, Va. (Spire Global PR) – Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire” or the “Company”) a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced it has completed its previously announced business combination with NavSight Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: NSH) (“NavSight”) to take Spire public. The combined company has been renamed “Spire Global, Inc.” and its shares will commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange on August 17, 2021, under the ticker symbol “SPIR” for Spire common stock and “SPIRW” for Spire warrants.

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Planet to Become Publicly Traded Company through Merger with dMY IV

  • Planet is an Earth data and analytics company, producing 25 terabytes of data per day from approximately 200 satellites – the largest Earth imaging satellite fleet ever
  • Planet’s proprietary data powers a high growth subscription business with over $100 million in revenue in FY2021 from over 600 customers across many verticals
  • In addition to $345 million in dMY IV’s trust account (assuming no redemptions), transaction includes $200 million fully committed PIPE led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with key participation including Koch Strategic Platforms and Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures and existing Planet investor Google
  • Transaction values Planet at a post-transaction equity value of approximately $2.8 billion
  • Planet intends to use the proceeds from the transaction to expand its operations and services to enable a more sustainable and secure planet
  • Business combination expected to be completed later this year

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and NEW YORK, NY July 7, 2021 – Planet Labs Inc. (“Planet”), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, and dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE: DMYQ) (“dMY IV”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Planet will become a publicly-traded company. Upon closing, the combined company will retain the Planet name and be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “PL.” The transaction values Planet at a post-transaction equity value of approximately $2.8 billion.

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Virgin Galactic Files to Raise $1 Billion in Stock Sale

A view from inside the cockpit. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Virgin Galactic filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue up to $1 billion in additional stock on Friday at the start of the long Memorial Day weekend. Friday is a traditional day to dump news you don’t want a lot of media coverage about; a long holiday weekend is especially useful for that purpose.

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Breaking Down Virgin Galactic’s Latest Flight Test

Take me out to the black,
Tell them I ain’t comin’ back.
Burn the land and boil the sea,
You can’t take the sky from me….

— “The Ballad of Serenity,” Sonny Rhodes

“After so many years and so much hard work, New Mexico has finally reached the stars.”

— New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

By now, you’ve probably read the rhetoric flourishes in Virgin Galactic’s press release about the company’s first suborbital flight test in more than two years that was conducted on Saturday. Suffice to say, if the stars were located at the altitude that SpaceShipTwo actually reached (55.45 miles/89.2 km), they would take the sky away at the same time they burned the land and boiled the seas. Being suborbital, VSS Unity wouldn’t have helped anyone escape the inferno.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen. So, let’s just put doomsday out of our minds. It’s time to break down what the flight test accomplished, what comes next, and why 27 months passed between powered flights. And what about Jeff Bezos?

Ready? Let’s go!

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Book: Virgin Galactic’s President Moses Believed Company’s Flight Projections were a “Pipe Dream”

Richard Branson’s space tourism company used similar numbers to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Were investors duped?
Michael Moses

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Nicholas Schmidle’s book about Virgin Galactic and SpaceShipTwo is coming out on Tuesday. In an essay he wrote for The New York Times, he recounted how Virgin Galactic President Michael Moses didn’t believe the company’s own flight projections when they were presented to him by its then-chief financial officer.

At one point, I was leaked a cache of internal documents. Some revealed the depth of Virgin Galactic’s oftentimes shaky grip on reality.

In 2013, Mike Moses, at the time Virgin Galactic’s senior vice president for operations, was sent an email containing a chart from Virgin Galactic’s chief financial officer at the time, Ken Sunshine. The chart showed a radical uptick in flight operations, projecting 75 flights in 2015, 194 in 2016, 229 in 2017 and 264 in 2018. “No chance in hell,” replied Mr. Moses, who is Beth’s husband. “These numbers are a pipe dream.” (Mr. Moses, through a representative, declined to comment on those emails.)

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Redwire to Go Public Via SPAC via Merger with Genesis Park Acquisition Corp.

  • Redwire is a pure play space infrastructure company providing critical technology and services to fast-growing national security, civil, and commercial markets
  • Global space economy growing rapidly, projected to exceed $2 trillion in 2040
  • Business combination values Redwire at a pro forma enterprise value of $615 million; transaction expected to deliver approximately $170 million cash to the Redwire balance sheet (assuming no redemptions)
  • Includes a fully committed and oversubscribed $100 million common stock PIPE with participation by Senvest Management, LLC and Crescent Park Management, L.P.
  • Proven management team and 50+ years of space heritage and deep customer relationships in space and aerospace
  • Undisputed leader in rapidly expanding 3D printing/manufacturing and robotic assembly in space, which is critical to the future of space infrastructure solutions
  • Strong financial foundation with current revenue, EBITDA, and free cash flow
  • Projected 2021 revenue of $163 million and forecasted 72% 2021E – 2025E revenue CAGR, with positive and growing Adj. EBITDA and cash flow driven by an over $23 billion pipeline of identifiable contracts
  • Current Redwire stockholders, Genesis Park stockholders and PIPE investors will hold shares in the combined company to be listed on the NYSE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. and HOUSTON, March 25, 2021 (Redwire PR) — Redwire (or “the Company”), a leader in mission-critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, and Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: GNPK) (“Genesis Park”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that will result in Redwire becoming a publicly traded company. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2021, and at that time, Genesis Park Acquisition Corp. will change its name to Redwire and the company will trade on the NYSE.

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SPACovirus Sweeps Space Sector

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)
Wall Street’s latest easy money craze has attracted a growing number of space companies. But, just because they can go public, should they?

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Seven space companies have gotten caught up in the SPACovirus sweeping through Wall Street. The impact on the space industry is going to be interesting to watch.

A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company. It’s a publicly traded investment firm that, with outside investors, acquires or merges with another company, and then takes the acquisition public under its own name.

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Spire Global Goes SPAC: Space-based Data & Analytics Company to Go Public Through a Merger with NavSight Holdings

  • Spire collects spaced-based data through their proprietary constellation of over 100 satellites
  • Spire has a technology stack that is proven, at scale, and fully operational
  • Spire delivers subscription-based data, insights, and predictive analytics to global customers across a range of industries, including maritime, aviation, weather, and climate
  • Transaction funds growth strategy across key verticals and geographies, accelerates sales, marketing, and product development, and further strengthens competitive advantage
  • Transaction values the combined company at a $1.6 billion post-money equity value and is expected to provide approximately $475 million in gross proceeds, assuming no redemptions
  • Includes an upsized, and fully committed $245 million common stock PIPE, anchored by Tiger Global Management, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Hedosophia, JAWS – the family office of Barry Sternlicht, and Bloom Tree Partners
  • Spire stockholders, NavSight stockholders, and PIPE investors will hold shares in the combined company to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “SPIR”
  • Business combination expected to be completed in summer 2021
  • Investor webcast and call is scheduled for March 1st, at 8:30 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO & RESTON, Va., March 1, 2021 (Spire Global/NavSight Holdings PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire” or the “Company”)a leading global provider of space-based data and analytics, and NavSight Holdings Inc. (“NavSight”) (NYSE: NSH), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for a business combination that would result in Spire becoming a publicly listed company.

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Why Virgin Galactic Went SPAC

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the SmallSat Symposium last week, Richard Branson was asked why Virgin Galactic had gone public using a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

“I’m impatient. The SPAC gets through all of the rigmarole of public companies. Yes, I thought, that’s great, let’s do it,” he replied.

Branson was half right. A SPAC makes it a lot easier for a company to go public. But, impatience was probably not the main reason Virgin Galactic went SPAC.

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As Virgin Galactic Crew Celebrated Second Suborbital Flight, Problems Loomed Behind the Scenes

Chief Pilot David Mackay celebrates a successful flight with champagne as Chief Astronaut Beth Moses looks on. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Newly arrived back on Earth after a quick visit to space, Virgin Galactic Chief Astronaut Beth Moses was effusive as she described the suborbital flight she had just taken aboard the company’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, VSS Unity.

“Richard, you’re going to love it!” she told Virgin Chairman Richard Branson, who had remotely monitored the Feb. 22, 2019 flight that had taken place over California’s Mojave Desert.

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