NextGen Acquisition Corp. II announces closing of business combination with Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit plane in the sky with LauncherOne rocket attached
Virgin Orbit
Head shot of Tania Steere.  She is smiling, with long, wavy blonde hair
by Tania Steere
29 December 2021

NextGen Acquisition Corp. II (NASDAQ: NGCA) (“NextGen”) today announced the closing of its business combination with Vieco USA, Inc., the parent company of Virgin Orbit (“Virgin Orbit” or the “Company”).

As of the closing of the transaction, which was approved by NextGen stockholders on December 28, 2021, NextGen has changed its name to “Virgin Orbit Holdings, Inc.” 

Virgin Orbit will begin trading on December 30, 2021, under the ticker symbols “VORB” and “VORBW”. To celebrate the listing, Virgin Orbit’s senior leadership team and Sir Richard Branson expect to ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite on January 7th, 2022.

Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit

The closing of the business combination comes at the end of a busy year for Virgin Orbit that saw the company deliver its first customer satellites to orbit, achieving a 100% mission success rate for customers including NASA, the US Department of Defense, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and Polish company SatRevolution. 

Two of those customers – the US Department of Defense and 3 SatRevolution – are again participating in the upcoming Above the Clouds launch, joined by Spire Global, Inc. Virgin Orbit recently completed its final pre-launch rehearsal for this January 2022 mission. 

Virgin Orbit has successfully launched 19 satellites to date and has launched satellites for all of its major customer segments: civil, commercial, international, and national security.

“This is a fantastic way to celebrate and cap an incredible year that started with Virgin Orbit delivering a dozen satellites for its first customer, NASA, into their target orbit in January,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Orbit. 

“Thanks to Dan and his world-class team, along with the support of our partners at NextGen and other investors, Virgin Orbit is well positioned to continue revolutionizing satellite launch and building unrivalled space technology that we believe will positively change the world. With a diverse and global customer base, it is the only launch company that can go anytime, from anywhere, to any orbit. With the company preparing for a third consecutive successful launch in January, I’m thrilled to support Virgin Orbit as it becomes a publicly traded business and builds on the incredible successes that we’ve seen this year.”

Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit

Dan Hart, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Orbit, said: “This marks another major milestone for Virgin Orbit in a year that has seen us prove our technology and place satellites successfully into orbit for commercial enterprises, the US government, and for our allies. The capital raised through this transaction combined with our new access to the public markets, will enable us to scale rocket manufacturing and extend our space solutions business and product development while we continue to expand globally through key partnerships with customers worldwide. We have a world class team that has become known for their creativity and skill for design and advanced manufacturing. We look forward to driving enduring shareholder value by delivering unrivaled mobility of launch and space access, and exciting space solutions services.”

Virgin Orbit
Virgin Orbit

George Mattson and Gregory Summe, the Co-Founders of NextGen, said: “The space economy is developing rapidly, and Virgin Orbit is extremely well-positioned to benefit as the industry grows in the years to come. The company’s differentiated technology drives huge benefits to customers in the national security, civil, and commercial markets around the world. We are excited to help Virgin Orbit progress into the next chapter of its exciting journey as a public company.”

Virgin Orbit has recently signed new agreements with key customers representing more than 30 launches, including being selected as the exclusive launch partner for ANA Holdings in providing launch capability from Japanese soil, as well as Arqit, and as a launch provider for Hypersat, Horizon Technologies, and SatRevolution.

In 2022, Virgin Orbit expects to bring launch to the United Kingdom for the first time, operating from Spaceport Cornwall in support of UK Space Agency, Royal Air Force, and industrial objectives. The first LauncherOne mission from Cornwall, expected in 2022, is expected to be the first ever launch from the British Isles.

Head over to Virgin Orbit for more information.