NextGen Shareholders OK Virgin Orbit Merger; Dan Hart Quoted

Shareholders at blank check company NextGen Acquisition Corp. II (Nasdaq: NGCA) approved Tuesday the proposed merger with Virgin Orbit and both parties expect the transaction to close before the end of December.

The combined entity will adopt the name Virgin Orbit Holdings and trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “VORB” upon closing of the transaction, which is expected to result in approximately $228 million in gross proceeds that will be used to support Virgin Orbit’s growth plan, the companies said in a joint release published Tuesday.

“The capital raised through this transaction combined with our new access to the public markets, will enable us to scale rocket manufacturing and extend our space solutions business and product development while we continue to expand globally through key partnerships with customers worldwide,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart.

PIPE investors, including Boeing (NYSE: BA), AE Industrial Partners, Mubadala Investment, Virgin Group and NextGen’s sponsor will become public shareholders in the combined company.

To date, Virgin Orbit has launched 19 satellites for civil, national security, commercial and international clients. The company concluded the final pre-launch rehearsal for its Above the Clouds mission, which will bring seven satellites into low-Earth orbit in January in support of the Department of Defense, SatRevolution and Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR). The launch window for the flight is set to open on Jan. 12.

Virgin Orbit expects to perform more than 30 launches through agreements signed with several customers, including Arqit Quantum (Nasdaq: ARQQ). Southwest Research Institute, ANA Holdings, Astroscale, Hypersat, Horizon Technologies and SatRevolution.

Virgin Orbit is also building up its space solutions business by making investments in some of its customers and assembling a set of space-based capabilities in communications, quantum encryption, Earth observation and intelligence. The company also partnered with Redwire and to further develop its next-generation space platforms.

In August, Virgin Orbit agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company NextGen to become a publicly traded satellite launch services provider.

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