Announced on 28 October, are the plans of upcoming small launch provider Virgin Orbit to purchase part of Sky and Space Global (SAS). SAS intends to orbit a CubeSat constellation providing IoT services. However, following the launch of their three demonstration units in 2017 has met with financial difficulties. The company is currently undergoing “voluntary administration” in Australia – a process which as been likened to Chapter 11 proceedings in the USA.
If the deal is approved Virgin Orbit reportedly plans to take a minimum of 14.7 per cent of the company shares. It will also gain options to purchase additional shares in the future, over three years. Although, Virgin Orbit has not declared how much it is spending on this transaction however, SAS financial documents show that it intends to sell 11 million shares worth AUS$2.2 million.
Additionally, as part of the transaction Virgin Orbit will cancel a previous launch agreement between the two parties, valued at US$55 million. This would then be replaced by SAS signing up to a three-year “launch services and consulting agreement” with it. This new agreement will reportedly be worth US$1 million-per-year.