Competitor offers USD 17 million to the bankrupt Virgin Orbit

Rocket construction company Virgin Orbit, which recently went bankrupt, received an offer from its main competitor in the amount of USD 17 million for its modified Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl carrier jet from which the LauncherOne rocket was launched, and other aviation assets, as it continues to consider options during the judicial review of the case under Chapter 11 of the US Code of bankruptcy. 

The Cosmic Girl carrier plane with the Maccherone rocket attached. Source: Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit has agreed to the terms of a potential deal with the aerospace company Stratolaunch, which is developing the world’s largest aircraft called Roc – an aerial platform for hypersonic flight tests. Stratolaunch’s offer is the first “attack” on the assets of a bankrupt company. The sale will be conducted in the form of an auction, so other potential buyers can offer a higher price for Virgin Orbit assets than Stratolaunch.

According to the bankruptcy filings, the agreement to purchase the carrier aircraft was concluded after difficult negotiations between the two companies. The agreement stipulates that Stratolaunch will acquire Virgin Orbit’s aviation assets for cash, with the buyer having to make a deposit of USD 1.7 million if the deal is accepted. The deadline for submitting applications for Virgin Orbit assets ends on Friday.

Virgin Orbit representatives declined to comment on a potential deal with Cerberus Capital Management, which owns Stratolaunch. But in their statement, they noted that the company was pleased that “the number and quality of signs of interest reflect the innovative ideas and hard work that the team had invested in the development of a unique air launch system for hypersonic rockets”.

Virgin Orbit, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, was separated in 2017 from Virgin Galactic (SPCE), a space tourism company. Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy protection on April 4, 2023, after the company failed to secure a funding lifeline and laid off almost all of its staff. But Virgin Galactic is doing much better, it recently announced a tourist flight, which immediately affected the growth of the company’s shares by 1.7%.

Earlier we talked about the history and prospects of air launch systems.

According to CNBC

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