Virgin Galactic to merge with already publicly traded Social Capital Hedosophia in US$1.3bn deal

by | Jul 9, 2019 | Commercial human spaceflight, Finance, Seradata News, Space tourism

Space tourism operator Virgin Galactic (VG) and the investment partnership, Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH) announced on 8 July that they had agreed a deal that will see SCH shareholders own approximately 49 per cent of the new combined Virgin Galactic. The merger is expected to be completed before the end of 2019, subject to approval from public shareholders of SCH.

The joint entity will be the world’s first publicly-traded commercial human spaceflight company, avoiding the need for an IPO, as Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings, a partnership between investment firms Social Capital and Hedosophia, is already publicly traded.

The merger is being led by Chamath Palihapitiya, CEO and Chairman of SCH and Founder and Managing Partner of Social Capital.

 

 

The current owners of VG will receive US$1.3 billion, made up of US$1 billion of common stock in the combined company and up to US$300 million in cash. Chamath Palihapitiya is investing an additional US$100 million in the transaction and will become the Chairman of the new company. Current VG CEO George T. Whitesides is expected to remain as CEO of the new entity.

Comment by David Todd: Seradata believes that space tourism has a strong future – especially once lunar space tourism begins. However, we remain sceptical about the attractiveness of suborbital space tourism, which, at a rate of circa US$20,000 per minute in microgravity, seems relatively poor value for money for its clients. As it is, unlike its surviving Blue Origin competitor (the XCOR Lynx small rocket plane dropped out) Virgin Galactic’s participant carrying SpaceShipTwo has only breached the old US Air Force 50-mile limit for space, rather that the “official” Karman line at 100 km. The original smaller SpaceShipOne rocket plane did, of course, breech the 100 km line, winning it the Ansari X-prize, which makes one wonder whether Virgin Galactic would have been better off sticking with that in the first place.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Was it an abort or launch failure? SpaceShipTwo abandons launch one second after ignition

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity rocket plane was air-dropped on a suborbital test flight from its mother ship WhiteKnightTwo Eve (which Read more

Virgin Atlantic woes leads Sir Richard Branson to sell part of Virgin Group’s stake in Virgin Galactic

With the UK Government about to impose a 14-day quarantine on arriving passengers from most other countries, UK airlines and Read more

Virgin Galactic merger with SCH is heralded by jump in share price (Updated)

In a vote on 23 October, shareholders of SCH (Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp.) approved its merger with upcoming space Read more

SpaceShipTwo makes another successful test flight but still does not beat Karman line for true spaceflight

At 1607 GMT on 15 February a Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Unity rocketplaine was air-dropped from its carrier aircraft Over the Read more

Virgin Galactic claimed to have achieved”spaceflight” with SpaceShipTwo – but we will stick with the Karman line thank you

The US Air Force has traditionally awarded its pilots “astronaut wings” if they have exceeded 50 miles (80km) in altitude. Others Read more

Getting higher and higher: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity makes another endo-atmospheric test flight

The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, VSS Unity, has made its third test flight, and the seventh in total for the SpaceShipTwo rocketplane design. Read more

UK vertical launch spaceport and rockets confirmed for Sutherland in North Scotland while Newquay Cornwall leads the three horizontal finalists

Ahead of the Farnborough International Air Show, the UK Space Agency (UKSA)finally decided on its choice of launch site for Read more

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo VSS-Unity makes another atmospheric suborbital test flight

On 29 May, Virgin Galactic made the second flight of its SpaceShipTwo VSS-Unity rocket plane which ignited its rocket after Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website

Categories

Archives