Sky and Space Global might be back from the dead; Virgin Orbit wants a stake
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Six months since it entered voluntary administration Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS) is on the cusp of resurrection, thanks to Virgin Orbit.
Yesterday afternoon, Sky and Space announced, subject to a number of conditions, Virgin Orbit would acquire a stake of at least 14.7 per cent of it at 20 cents per share.
Virgin Orbit is a Richard Branson-owned satellite aspirant. It was spun out of Branson’s Virgin Galactic in 2017 and focuses on the launches of smaller satellites.
In a twist of fate, Virgin Orbit was previously a partner of Sky and Space’s.
The pair previously signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) back in 2016. Sky and Space intended to use Virgin Galactic’s orbital launch vehicle to launch its own neo-satellites. Virgin’s first launch occurred earlier this year – without Sky and Space’s satellites onboard.
We said the main product of this flight would be data, and wow, did we get a lot of it! After diving into our early analyses, we wanted to share more about the flight — including both the many things that went well and what we know about the areas where we’ll need to improve. pic.twitter.com/g9Wi1d33bK
— Virgin Orbit (@Virgin_Orbit) May 27, 2020
Virgin and Sky and Space have terminated the LSA and will enter into new commercial agreements. These include a three-year $1 million per annum launch services and consulting agreement and a reseller agreement.
The deal does not include a formal board seat but Virgin Orbit will appoint “an observer to the company’s board meetings”.
“We are delighted to have Virgin Orbit as a partner and shareholder as we progress the recapitalisation of the business and short-term commercialisation of our nano-satellite communications technology,” said Sky and Space’s chairman Xavier Kris, who replaced Meir Moalem during administration.
Sky and Space listed on the ASX in 2016 via reverse takeover of Burleson Energy.
It rose as high as 23 cents in April 27 off the back of hype for its ambitions and numerous non-binding Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs).
It intended to have 100 neo-satellites in the air by 2019 which it estimated would generate $300-$500 million per annum.
As it kept raising capital and missed its targets, the share price gradually collapsed to 2.8 cents in April 2019 when it last traded.
12 months later it bit the dust on its search and entered voluntary administration.
The stock’s re-listing on the ASX is one of the conditions for the Virgin Orbit deal to proceed. Shareholders will have to sign off too.