Richard Branson’s satellite launch firm, Virgin Orbit, to go public via SPAC merger
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Richard Branson’s satellite launch firm, Virgin Orbit, to go public via SPAC merger

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Photo by Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, a satellite-launching spinoff of the billionaire founder’s space tourism firm, is going public through a merger with a shell company, the firm announced on Monday. The company will be valued at $3.2 billion and includes an investment from Boeing.

Virgin Orbit plans to merge with the special purpose acquisition company (also known as a SPAC), NextGen Acquisition Corp. II around the end of 2021. It will be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker “VORB.” The deal will bring Virgin Orbit $483 million in new capital — $383 million stored in NextGen and $100 million from another round of funding. Investors in that round include Boeing, Virgin said, but it’s unclear how much they pitched in.

The $483 million will…

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