April 24, 2024

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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.

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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.

Astra