April 24, 2024

Westside People

Complete News World

Space company Astra goes private to avoid bankruptcy

Space company Astra goes private to avoid bankruptcy

The LV0006 rocket tilts during liftoff.

Astra/NASA Spaceflight

Space company Astra It will go private in a cut-price deal with its founders after a dismal run as a publicly traded stock.

Astra co-founders Chris Kemp and Adam London — CEO and CTO, respectively — have signed an agreement with the company's board of directors to acquire all outstanding common shares at a price of 50 cents per share. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

A special committee of the board of directors, with Kemp and London abstaining, voted in favor of the takeover plan. After the founders lowered their offer last month from $1.50 per share to 50 cents, the board committee confirmed that it believed the deal was the “only alternative” to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Astra shares stopped at 85 cents per share near the time of the announcement, and closed at 58 cents per share on Thursday.

The company's market value is about $13 million At current levels, it's a fraction of the $2.6 billion stock valuation it went public via SPAC three years ago.

Sign up here to receive weekly editions of CNBC's newsletter on investing in space.

The San Francisco-area company, which was founded in 2016, previously aimed to mass-produce small rockets and conduct launches on a daily basis.

Since its debut, Astra rockets have reached orbit twice, but the company has also suffered three launch failures.

Astra spacecraft engine during testing.