Virgin Orbit seeks bankruptcy bid extension
May 15, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Virgin Orbit, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has asked its bankruptcy court to delay the deadline for prospective bidders to make their intentions known.
Virgin Orbit says that more time was needed to iron out some details and to give more time to get a deal done.
Virgin Orbit had originally set May 14th for interested parties to enter their formal bids with an auction date set for May 18th (if necessary) and the sale to a new buyer wrapping on May 24th. Those dates will now slip.
The new dates slip by 4 days with final bids to be submitted by May 19 and the notice to qualified bidders slips to May 21st. If more than one qualified bidder emerges then an auction will take place on May 22nd. The Bankruptcy Court formal hearing remains set for May 24th.
“I’m pleased with the number and quality of the indications of interest we’ve received, which we believe reflects the innovative ideas and hard work the team has put into the development of this unique system,” Dan Hart, CEO at Virgin Orbit, said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with those who have expressed interest and other parties as we approach the final bid deadline.”
The company has declared assets of some $243 million and debts of about $153.5 million. On April 28th Virgin Orbit confirmed it had secured additional borrowings of $74.1 million under a term loan from Virgin Investments Ltd.
Judge Karen B. Owens, from the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, has kept May 24 for a hearing into the bankruptcy exit plan.
Reportedly there are some 30 businesses potentially interested in Virgin Orbit’s assets. Meanwhile, the satellite-launching business is operating under ‘debtor in possession’ rules with its operating cash provided by Sir Richard Branson’s overall company holding business.
Virgin Orbit is working towards exiting bankruptcy. A test flight of its Cosmic Girl and LauncherOne rocket has taken place and the company says it looks to resuming rocket launching during Q3 this year.