Branson’s Virgin Orbit to list through SPAC merger at $3.2 billion valuation

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The deal with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II also includes a private investment in public equity (PIPE) of $100 million, from parties such as Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co and AE Industrial Partners.

Firefly, U.S.-New Zealand startup Rocket Lab, and Branson’s Virgin Orbit are seen as front-runners in a new breed of firms building miniaturized launch systems to cash in on the exponential growth of compact satellites, expected in the coming years.

Blank-check companies, also known as special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), use capital they raise through an initial public offering to merge with a private firm and take it public.

Virgin Orbit will list on the Nasdaq, post the closing of the merger, under the ticker symbol “VORB”.