Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit company has reportedly hired bankers in preparation for an Initial Public Offering.
Virgin Orbit will use a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) as its first step on the road to public participation and the overall aim is for a valuation of some $2.5-$3 billion, according to The WSJ.
Virgin Orbit uses a modified Boeing 747 (Cosmic Girl) with a rocket housing under its port wing. The rocket, dubbed Launcher One, accommodates a satellite or a number of small craft.
The WSJ says that Virgin Orbit has hired Credit Suisse and LionTree to help with the process.
Virgin Orbit can handle small cube-sats or a single satellite weighing up to 300 kgs. Its first flight on January 17th 2021 carried ten cube-sats into low Earth orbit. A previous test flight (May 25 2020) saw the rocket fail to reach orbit.