As you've probably heard, on Thursday afternoon, NASA announced the successful landing on Mars of its Perseverance rover and Ingenuity drone helicopter. And that was the same day that Osprey announced its plans to acquire "real-time geospatial intelligence, imagery, and data analytics company" BlackSky Holdings, reverse-merging it with the SPAC to take it public.
Shares of Osprey -- the shell company that will bring BlackSky public -- popped 27.5% on the news Thursday, and they were up another 10.4% as of noon EST Friday.
So what do we know about this soon-to-be-public BlackSky? According to Osprey, it "is a first mover in real-time Earth observation leveraging the innovative performance and economics of small satellite constellations," and intends to eventually grow its orbital assets to "30 high resolution multi-spectral satellites capable of monitoring locations on Earth every 30 minutes, day or night."
Osprey hasn't revealed a lot about the company's financials, other than to say that it has a "pipeline of opportunities" that nearly tripled over the last 12 months to $1.7 billion.
I first heard of the company about four years ago, at which time it was a division of privately held Spaceflight Industries (that's the one that sold its satellite-rideshare business, Spaceflight Inc., to Mitsui early last year). According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, BlackSky remains a subsidiary of Spaceflight Industries, but there was no mention of the parent company in Osprey's press release.
Presumably, it has been, or will soon be, spun off from Spaceflight Industries.
Whoever owns BlackSky now, Osprey will own it soon -- and retail investors will be able to, too. Osprey predicts that when the deal happens in or around July, BlackSky will become a public company with a pro forma equity value of $1.5 billion. Add back $450 million in cash, and the targeted market capitalization of the stock looks like $1.95 billion.
When you consider that Osprey currently has a market cap of barely $605 million, this appears to suggest the stock will triple in value in five months. No wonder investors are excited.