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Rocket Lab scoops up Virgin Orbit Long Beach California assets
Virgin Orbit stock image.
Rocket Lab scoops up Virgin Orbit Long Beach California assets
by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) May 24, 2023

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has been selected as a successful bidder and is finalizing an asset purchase agreement for the purchase of certain Long Beach California aerospace production and manufacturing assets from Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries ("Virgin Orbit") in Virgin Orbit's Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction.

Rocket Lab's successful bid of approximately $16.1 million includes the assumption of the lease to Virgin Orbit's 144,000+ square foot headquarters and manufacturing complex at 4022 E. Conant St. in Long Beach, California (the "Conant Facility"), and certain production assets, machinery, and equipment located there. The successful bid does not include the purchase of Virgin Orbit's Boeing 747 aircraft, launch vehicles or mobile launch assets for its rockets, or other Virgin Orbit facilities, inventory and assets. The purchase remains subject to finalizing the purchase agreement and approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware administering Virgin Orbit's Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and other customary closing conditions.

The combination of these assets with Rocket Lab's existing production, manufacturing, and test capabilities is expected to advance the production of Rocket Lab's larger launch vehicle, Neutron. Rocket Lab will not be integrating Virgin Orbit's launch system within its existing launch services.

Rocket Lab CEO and Founder, Peter Beck, says: "Rocket Lab is a global industry leader in launch, and our new, larger rocket Neutron will bring added reliability, reusability, and innovation to the launch sector. With Neutron's design and development well-advanced, this transaction represents a capital expenditure savings opportunity to augment our production capability to bring Neutron to the launch pad quickly to serve our customers and their future success. Securing the lease to the Conant Facility adds to our existing presence in Long Beach and provides co-located engineering, manufacturing, and test capabilities for our Neutron team."

Statement Regarding Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc. announced Tuesday that, following a comprehensive sale process and competitive auction conducted under the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Company will sell its assets to four winning bidders and will cease operations.

In a statement the Company said, "Throughout its history, Virgin Orbit has been at the forefront of innovation and has made substantial contributions to the field of commercial rocket launch with its LauncherOne air launch platform. The Company's cutting-edge technology, unmatched expertise, and commitment to excellence have propelled it to the vanguard of an emerging commercial launch industry.

"As Virgin Orbit embarks on this path, the management and employees would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders, including customers, partners, investors, and employees, for their support and dedication over the years. It is through their collective efforts that the Company has been able to achieve significant milestones and make lasting contributions to the advancement of satellite launch in the United States and the United Kingdom.

"Virgin Orbit's legacy in the space industry will forever be remembered. Its groundbreaking technologies, relentless pursuit of excellence, and unwavering commitment to advancing the frontiers of air launch have left an indelible mark on the industry."

The transactions are subject to approval by the Court and certain other customary closing conditions. A hearing to seek Court approval is scheduled for May 24, 2023 with the transactions expected to close shortly thereafter.

As previously announced, on April 4, 2023, the Company and its U.S.-based subsidiaries filed a voluntary proceeding under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code ("Chapter 11") in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware in order to effectuate a sale of the business. The combined total proceeds were determined by a rigorous and competitive auction which maximizes value for the estate and minimizes the remaining duration of the Company's restructuring.

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