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Virgin Orbit Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 4, 2023
Filed under ,
Virgin Orbit Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Virgin Orbit (NASDAQ: VORB) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a day after completing layoffs of 675 of the company’s 775 employees. The filing in Delaware Bankruptcy Court provides the company with protection from creditors while it seeks to find a buyer.

“To help fund the process and protect its operations, the Company has received a commitment from Virgin Investments Limited for $31.6 million in new money [debtor in possession] financing. Upon approval from the Bankruptcy Court, the DIP financing is expected to provide Virgin Orbit with the necessary liquidity to continue operating as it furthers the marketing process commenced pre-petition to sell the Company and seek a value-maximizing transaction for the business and its assets,” the company said in a press release.

Virgin Investments had previously pumped $70.7 million into the struggling launch provider since Nov. 4. The investments came with the provision that Virgin Investments would lay claim to virtually all the company’s assets in the event of a default, which has now occurred.

Virgin Orbit has dealt with mounting losses as it struggled to ramp up its launch rate. In a separate filing, the company estimated it ended 2022 with $51.2 million in cash. Virgin Investments provided $45 million of that amount.

The company launched its LauncherOne rocket only six times since the maiden flight in May 2025. That launch failed, as did the most recent one in January. In between, the company reeled off four successful launches.

In the bankruptcy filing, Virgin Orbit said it owes $100-$500 million to 200 to 999 creditors. The top 10 creditors include:

  • Arqit Ltd.: $9,979,975.00
  • U.S. Space Force: $6,759,711.33
  • iQPS, Inc.: $5,198,555.00
  • Bigbear.AI LLC: $3,000.000.00
  • YA II PN, Ltd: $2,000,000.00
  • All Nippon Airways Trading Co., Ltd.: $1,650,000.00
  • Barber Nichols, Inc.: $1,552,581.25
  • Plaintiff in Class Action Lawsuit: $1,400,000.00
  • Redwire Space: $1,242,558.00
  • Spire Global Subsidiary: $1,125,000.00.

Arqit, Bigbear.AI, Redwire Space and Spire Global are all part of Parabolic Arc’s Space SPAC Index, which chronicles companies that, like Virgin Orbit, went public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

A SPAC is an investment company that is already traded on a stock exchange. Its only purpose is to find a company to take public under the merger target’s own name.

Spire Global recently received a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after the company’s shares fell below $1. The company has until Sept. 22 to address the problem. It could file for an extension of 180 days if it fails to do so.

One response to “Virgin Orbit Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”

  1. Thomas Matula says:

    The next chapter in this saga will be interesting.

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