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Space SPAC Index: Virgin Orbit Faces Possible Bankruptcy, Astra Could be Delisted

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 21, 2023
Filed under , , ,
Space SPAC Index: Virgin Orbit Faces Possible Bankruptcy, Astra Could be Delisted
Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket ignites moments after being released by carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl for the company’s Launch Demo 2 mission. January 17th, 2021.

Welcome to S-SPACi.

A pair of struggling launch provider SPACs — Virgin Orbit and Astra Space — are hoping to stay in business in the weeks ahead.

Virgin Orbit Seeks Buyer

Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB) is seeking a financial lifeline after pausing operations furloughing almost all its staff and pausing operations last Wednesday. The operational pause is schedule to run through today.

CNBC reports that one buyer balked at paying nearly $200 million for the air-launch company. It also reports that a bankruptcy filing could occur as early as this week.

Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart would receive a severance package that includes 200 percent of his base compensation if he is terminated within 12 months of the struggling rocket company being sold, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). CNBC reports that Hart’s base compensation is $511,008.

Virgin Orbit Chief Strategy Officer Jim Simpson and Chief Operating Officer Tony Gingiss would receive a cash settlement equal to 100 percent of their base compensation.

Other elements of the severance plan for the three executives include:

  • a cash payment equal to the executive’s pro-rated target annual bonus for the year of termination,
  • full accelerated vesting of time-vesting Company equity awards and accelerated vesting of performance-vesting Company equity awards at the “target” level achievement of applicable performance metrics, and
  • up to six months of continuing health insurance.

The stock closed at $0.44 on Tuesday.

Space SPAC Index
March 21, 2023

CompanyFirst Trading DayOpening Share PriceHighClosing Price
Arqit (NAS: ARQQ)
Sept. 7, 2021$9.25$41.52 (9/23/21) $1.10
Astra Space (NAS: ASTR)July 1, 2021$12.30$16.95 (7/2/21)$0.43
AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS)April 7, 2021$11.63$15.48 (6/30/21)$6.20 (NYS: BBAI)Dec. 8, 2021$9.84$16.12 (4/6/22)$1.87
BlackSky (NYS: BKSY)Sept. 10, 2021$11.80$13.20 (9/16/21)$1.31
Intuitive Machines (NAS: LUNR)Feb. 14, 2023$10.00$10.58 (2/14/23)$11.35
Momentus (NAS: MNTS)Aug. 13, 2021$10.8512.87 (9/7/21)$0.55
Planet Labs (NYS: PL)Dec. 8, 2021$11.25$11.65 (12/8/21)$3.49
Redwire (NYS: RDW)Sept. 3, 2021$10.70$16.98 (10/25/21)$3.01
Rocket Lab (NAS: RKLB)
Aug. 25, 2021$11.58$21.34 (9/9/21) $3.95
Satellogic (NAS: SATL)Jan. 26, 2022$9.19$10.92 (5/4/22) $2.42
Satixfy (NYS: SATX)Oct. 28, 2022$8.29$51.70
Spire (NYS: SPIR)Aug. 17, 2021$10.25 $19.50 (9/22/21)$0.76
Terran Orbital (NYS: LLAP)March 28, 2022$12.69$12.69 (3/28/22) $1.60
Virgin Galactic (NYS: SPCE)Oct. 28, 2019$11.79$62.80 (2/4/21)$4.12
Virgin Orbit (NAS: VORB)Dec. 30, 2021$8.525$11.28 (1/11/22)$0.44
Stock Price Source: Yahoo Finance

Astra Space Seeks More Time

Struggling launch provider Astra Space (NAS: ASTR) is seeking an additional 180 days from Nasdaq to get its stock price up above $1 in order to avoid being delisted from the exchange.

Astra Space received a delisting notice from Nasdaq last Oct. 6 after its stock price closed below $1 for 30 consecutive days. The company was given 180 days — through April 4 — to get the price back up to $1 or facing being delisted from the stock exchange.

“On March 13, 2023, Astra submitted an application to Nasdaq for an additional 180-day period (through October 1, 2023, the ‘Extended Compliance Period’) to comply with the minimum bid price requirement. Based on our discussions with representatives of Nasdaq, we expect to hear back from Nasdaq regarding the status of our application on or around April 5, 2023, and we are not aware of any reason why our application would not be approved,” CFO Axel Martinez wrote in a post on Astra’s website.

The stock closed at $0.43 on Tuesday.

One response to “Space SPAC Index: Virgin Orbit Faces Possible Bankruptcy, Astra Could be Delisted”

  1. lopan says:

    I’m never trusting an expendable launch stock again. If a company isn’t on a reusable track, they shouldn’t even bother asking.

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