Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck stands with one of his company’s Electron rockets.
Rocket Lab, the leader among companies that make small rockets to launch satellites, will go public through a SPAC merger that values the company at more than $ 4 billion when the deal closes.
The company is merging with Vector Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company. Rocket Lab will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol RKLB when the deal closes, which is expected in the second quarter.
“This milestone accelerates Rocket Lab’s ability to unlock the full potential of space through our launch pads and spacecraft and catalyzes our ambition to create a new multi-million dollar business vertical in space applications,” said Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck, in a press release. .
Vector’s SPAC is currently trading under the ticker symbol VACQ. Shares of SPAC were up more than 20% in premarket trading from their previous close of $ 10.25 per share.
The SPAC deal values Rocket Lab at a business valuation of $ 4.1 billion, and the company expects to have around $ 750 million in cash once the merger is complete. That cash includes up to $ 320 million from Vector Acquisition, as well as a $ 470 million PIPE round led by Vector Capital, BlackRock and Neuberger Berman, among other investors.
PIPE financing, or private investment in public shares, allows private investors to buy public shares at prices below market prices. A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company in which investors essentially give a blank check to one company for the purpose of unspecified acquisitions of other companies.
Beck will continue to lead Rocket Lab as CEO, with Vector Capital chief investment officer Alex Slusky set to join the company’s board of directors, alongside Khosla Ventures’ Sven Strohband, Bessemer Venture Partner’s David Cowan, DCVC’s Matt Ocko and independent director Mike Griffin.
Revealing the largest Neutron rocket
Rocket Lab also revealed plans for a second larger rocket called the Neutron to lift even more payloads than its current Electron rocket. The company has launched 97 satellites in 18 Electron missions to date.
Its Electron rockets are priced at around $ 7 million per launch, are about 60 feet tall, and are capable of lifting up to 300 kilograms to low Earth orbit.
Neutron, which is expected to launch in 2024 for the first time, will stand 131 feet tall and be capable of carrying up to 8,000 kilograms to low Earth orbit, the company said. Rocket Lab did not disclose how much Neutron is expected to cost per launch, noting that its first launch will require the company to build a new launch pad at NASA’s Wallops flight facility in Virginia.
Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket blasts off on July 4, 2020.
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