PanamaTimes

Monday, May 20, 2024

Virgin Orbit plans for insolvency amid rescue talks with investors

Virgin Orbit plans for insolvency amid rescue talks with investors

The commercial space satellite company set up by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is working with Alvarez & Marsal and Ducera as it seeks emergency funding.
Virgin Orbit has begun drawing up detailed contingency plans for its insolvency days after halting its operations and furloughing its workforce.

Sky News has learnt that the commercial space satellite venture founded by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is working with Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) and Ducera, two restructuring firms, on fallback plans in the event that it cannot secure new funding.

The decision to line up the advisers underlines the parlous nature of Virgin Orbit's finances, even as it continues talks with a small number of prospective investors about providing sufficient funding to restart its operations.

Virgin Orbit is 75%-owned by Sir Richard's holding company, with its shares listed on the Nasdaq exchange in New York.

Its value has further plummeted following the failure of its inaugural British mission in Cornwall in January.

After going public in 2021 through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in a $3.7bn (£3bn) deal, its listed shares are now valued at just $217m (£177m).

Sources said the insolvency planning work involving A&M and Ducera was being run out of the US.

A&M also worked on plans for the administration of Virgin Atlantic Airways as it raced to recapitalise itself during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The identities of the parties interested in funding Virgin Orbit on an ongoing basis were unclear on Sunday evening, although one source said that Boeing, which has invested in the company previously, was not in talks with it.

Virgin Orbit is understood to be aiming to secure additional capital during the course of this week, they added.

Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit's chief executive, has been hoping to launch a further mission in the coming weeks, but that prospect is remote unless the company can secure new capital.

A Virgin Orbit spokesperson said last week: "Virgin Orbit is initiating a company-wide operational pause, effective March 16, 2023, and anticipates providing an update on go-forward operations in the coming weeks.

"On the ops side, our investigation is nearly complete and our next production rocket with the needed modification incorporated is in the final stages of integration and test."

Sources close to Virgin Group said that Sir Richard's privately held empire had supported Virgin Orbit to the tune of more than $1bn (£818bn), including $60m (£49m) since November 2022.

One insider said the funding provided to the company had not been sufficient to counter the strong headwinds and liquidity crisis facing it.

Virgin Orbit was confident it was taking decisive action to protect employees and the company's assets while it continued to evaluate alternative options, they added.

Virgin Orbit was established in 2017, with a focus on operating launch missions for small commercial satellites from an adapted Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 plane.

The company has made four successful missions, launching 33 satellites to their desired orbit, according to a spokesperson.

Taking Virgin Orbit public at a multi-billion dollar valuation was seen as a vindication of Sir Richard's efforts to construct a lucrative business empire in the space technology sector.

In 2019, he merged Virgin Galactic, his space tourism operation, with Social Capital Hedosophia, another SPAC, in a deal which heralded the ongoing deluge of so-called 'blank cheque' companies.

Virgin Orbit was spun out of Virgin Galactic and has been run for years by Mr Hart, a former Boeing executive.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×