By July 13, 2019 Read More →

Virgin Galactic to go public following merger

Virgin Galactic is preparing to go public following a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH). The boards of both companies have approved a definitive agreement under which they will merge, with SCH shareholders gaining approximately 49% of the combined company.

Upon the closing the transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2019, Virgin Galactic will be introduced as a publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company.

Virgin Galactic believes it has now reached an inflection point in its development as it progresses towards launching commercial operations. In particular, by demonstrating the repeatability of the full flight profile through the completion of two crewed spaceflights, the company believes it has overcome a substantial number of the technical hurdles required to make the company a viable and profitable commercial service. Having reached launch milestones in 2018 and earlier this year, the board of Virgin Galactic believes that the additional capital provided by the merger with SCH will provide the company with the support needed to reach commercialisation.

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whiteside said: “This transaction represents the next step of our exciting journey. We believe it will offer us the financial flexibility to build a thriving commercial service and invest appropriately for the future.”

Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of SCH, said: “We are confident that Virgin Galactic is light years ahead of the competition. It is backed by an exciting business model and an uncompromising commitment to safety and customer satisfaction.”

Marking a further milestone for the Virgin group, sister company Virgin Orbit launched a drop-test of its LauncherOne rocket, releasing it from a Boeing 747 in mid-flight. The test was to observe how the rocket detached from the 747’s wing and its freefall, prior to an orbital launch later this year.

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