Economy

Rocket Lab needs a deal to integrate with Vector SPAC

Rocket Lab needs a deal to integrate with Vector SPAC

Rocket Lab is seen as the front-runner among a new breed of small launch provider.


Photo:

Rocket Lab / Associated Press

Rocket Lab USA Inc. Emerging in the field of space transportation from the conclusion of an IPO agreement through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, with the continuation of a wave of such deals.

Rocket Lab is in talks with

Vector acquisition Corp.

VACQ -0.68%

About a deal that would value the US-New Zealand startup at nearly $ 4.1 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal could be finished by Monday, assuming the talks won’t collapse.

Vector Acquisition, powered by the technology-focused private equity firm

Capital carriersAnd the

It raised $ 300 million in an initial public offering in September. It is one of hundreds of SPAC centers, which went public without a job and then looking for one or more to combine them, to raise funds in recent months, as the wave of selection has spread blankly. On Wall Street And the Silicon Valley is both.

Rocket Lab, whose support has included defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp, is seen as the front-runner among a new breed of small launch providers. The startup has already launched 97 government and private company satellites for applications including research and communications. While a handful of companies are based on them

Elon MuskSpaceX is focused on sending massive satellites to higher orbits, There are over 100 new projects for small rockets Around the world to serve lighter satellites. In addition to Rocket Lab, British businessman Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit LLC is an increasingly large player in the field.

Another one of Mr. Branson’s entities, the Space Tourism Company

The Virgo GalaxyAnd the

Audience gone By SPAC’s merger in 2019 – putting it at the forefront of the White’s Choice deal craze.

Rocket Lab’s deal with Vector is expected to include additional funds of approximately $ 470 million in the form of so-called private equity investment from public investors including:

Black stone a company

And Neuberger Berman Group LLC, the people familiar with the matter said. Such investments often accompany SPAC deals.

Rocket Lab is expected to use the proceeds of the deal to fund the development of a medium-lift “neutron” launch vehicle designed for use in giant satellite groups, space missions and commercial spaceflight, the people said. They said the neutron missile is expected to be able to raise most satellites’ expectations for launches in the coming years, and to be positioned as a low-cost alternative to larger vehicles.

Rocket Lab also has deal-making ambitions. Indeed, Industry officials expect a shake-up Ultimately it may leave only a handful of survivors among the small launch sponsors.

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com

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Featured on the March 1, 2021, print edition called “Space-Transport Startup Nears Accord to Go Public Rocket Lab Nears Deal to Merge With Blank-Check”.

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