Rocket Lab, the leading company in the manufacturing of small rockets to launch satellites, announced that it has agreed to go public through a SPAC merger with a blank-check firm backed by private equity firm Vector Capital, a deal which will value the combined entity at a pro forma enterprise value of $4.1 billion. This comes as space startups continue to gain popularity, and the SPAC route becoming massively popular among companies looking to go public.
In a news release, Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said, “This milestone accelerates Rocket Lab’s ability to unlock the full potential of space through our launch and spacecraft platforms and catalyzes our ambition to create a new multi-billion-dollar business vertical in space applications.”
The completion of the merger will yield about $750 million in cash, Rocket Lab expects, including up to $320 million from Vector acquisition and a $470 million PIPE (private investment in public equity – allowing private investors to buy public shares at below-market prices) round led by Vector Capital, BlackRock and Neuberger Berman, among other investors. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.
After the merger, Beck will continue as CEO of Rocket Lab, while Vector Capital CEO Alex Slusky will join the board of directors – alongside Khosla Ventures’ Sven Strohband, Bessemer Venture Partner’s David Cowan, DCVC’s Matt Ocko, and independent director Mike Griffin.
After the merger, Rocket Lab’s current stakeholders, including Khosla Ventures and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, will own nearly 82% of the combined company.
RocketLab, founded in 2016 by Beck in New Zealand, currently has its headquarters at Long Beach, California, and has delivered 97 satellites to orbit so far. It plans to launch a satellite to the lunar orbit for NASA this year as a precursor to the Gateway program, a Moon-orbiting outpost for NASA’s lunar mission. It is also planning to make its Electron launch vehicle, which carries small payloads into orbit, partially reusable.