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Biz Briefs: Maxar to Go Private, Texas Governor Proposes $350M for Space Commission, JAXA Narrows Cause of H3 Abort

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 24, 2023
Filed under , , , ,
Biz Briefs: Maxar to Go Private, Texas Governor Proposes $350M for Space Commission, JAXA Narrows Cause of H3 Abort
H3 rocket aborts during the maiden launch attempt. (Credit: JAXA)

Maxar Technologies will become a private company through a merger with private equity firm Advent International after not receiving any other acquisition proposals during a 60-day “go shop” period.

“During the ‘go-shop’ period, at the direction of the Maxar Board of Directors, Maxar and representatives of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, financial advisor to Maxar, engaged with or actively solicited alternative acquisition proposals from 36 potentially interested third parties with respect to a possible alternative transaction to the merger. Maxar did not receive any competing acquisition proposals during the ‘go-shop’ period,” Maxar said.

Advent will acquire all outstanding shares of Maxar common stock for $53 per share in cash.

Texas Governor Proposes $350 for Space Commission

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has proposed that the state allocate $350 million to establish a commission to promote the development

“Further investment will cement Texas as the preeminent location for innovation and development in this rapidly growing industry. Due to increased competition from other states and internationally, further planning and coordination is needed to keep Texas at the cutting edge,” Abbott said in his proposed 2024-25 budget.

“The creation of the Texas Space Commission will help grow the future of the aerospace industry by working to formulate and implement a strategic plan for the development of civil, military, and commercial space initiatives while also coordinating the continued research needs to benefit the prospect of future space travel from Texas,” the document added.

JAXA Narrows Down Cause of H3 Abort

JAXA says that the abort of its new H3 rocket was caused by an abnormality in the power supply system of the first-stage engines. The flight control software shut down the engines after they began to fire and before signals were sent to two solid rocket boosters to fire.

JAXA said the rocket was not damaged by the abort. The space agency is hoping to attempt another launch by March 10. The rocket is carrying the ALOS-3 Earth observation satellite.

Momentus Raises $10 Million, Settles Lawsuit

Momentus (NAS: MNTS) has signed a securities purchase agreement with “a certain institutional investor” that will produce $10 million in gross proceeds. Momentus will issue the investor an aggregate of 9,396,000 shares of common stock, pre-funded warrants to purchase 2,170,043 shares of common stock, and warrants to purchase up to 11,566,043 shares of common stock. The offering is expected to close on Feb. 27.

Momentus said it has reached an agreement in principle to settle the consolidated securities class action lawsuits against the company. At least $4 million of the $8.5 million settlement is expected to be funded by insurance proceeds.

The lawsuit involved allegations of misconduct in the November 2019 merger of Momentus with Stable Road Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company that was already traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Momentus began trading on the exchange under its own name after the merger.

The lawsuit claimed that Momentus misrepresented its space tug technology, and that it failed to disclose that the U.S. government had national security concerns about its founder, Russian national Mikhail Kokorich. (He was replaced as CEO, and later left the United States.) The suit also alleged that the company’s projections and plans were false and misleading. Stable Road was accused of failing to do due diligence about Momentus before the merger.

The agreement in principle remains subject to approval by the United States District Court for the Central District of California.