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Sea Launch asset sale “blocked”

The sale of the struggling Sea Launch rocket launch enterprise has been blocked by minority shareholder Boeing.

Boeing has started a legal action in California, seeking to obtain an injunction to halt the proposed sale, arguing that it wants payments contracted with a former partner of Sea Launch, the Energia rocket building business.

Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said in March that it had found a buyer for Sea Launch, but declined to say whether it was simply for the floating assets (the launch platform itself and the command vessel) or how a restructuring might take place.

Boeing is already deeply involved in a long-running series of legal arguments with its former Russian and Ukrainian partners in the Sea Launch venture.  In one of the key disputes it was awarded a $300 million judgement against Energia which – seemingly – it has failed to collect.

The Court filing says: “If Energia succeeds in selling these assets and moving all of the proceeds thereof to Russia, without paying the hundreds of millions of dollars that it owes, it would unquestionably complicate Boeing’s collection efforts.”

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