Virgin Orbit suffers cash crunch
March 16, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Virgin Orbit, the Sir Richard Branson-backed rocket launching business, is suspending operations and payments to staff as it seeks fresh funding.
Virgin Orbit has ‘furloughed’ all staff according to business news channel CNBC, and the situation confirmed by senior staff.
Shares in Virgin Orbit crashed 33 per cent on March 15th and closed at just $1.01 (€0.95). They were almost $10 per share back in December 2021.
Company executives reportedly briefed staff on the situation in a meeting late in the afternoon of March 15th. Staff are now not being paid, although the company promised a further update on March 22nd.
The financial position at Virgin Orbit is complicated given that it raised an overall $55 million in three stages (November 2022 $25m, December 2022 $20m, and $10m in February 2023) according to regulatory filings. However, Branson’s Virgin Group now holds ‘first priority’ over Orbit’s assets.
Dan Hart, CEO, was scheduled to speak earlier at the Satellite 2023 show in Washington, DC, but pulled out shortly before the event.