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Another Space IPO Is Coming: Rocket Lab

By Rich Smith - Updated Mar 1, 2021 at 10:19AM

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Vector Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, may bring the rocket company public.

When asked six months ago to pick a private unicorn company that I'd love to see IPO, I didn't hesitate to choose Rocket Lab, a U.S.-New Zealand company specializing in small rocket launches

While there are many companies trying to break into the small-rocket game -- including Virgin Orbit, Relativity Space, and even Astra, which is coming public with help from Holicity (HOL) -- Rocket Lab is the only one with a record of putting rockets into orbit consistently, with more than a dozen successful launches already.

And now Rocket Lab may soon be going public.

Horizontal Electron rocket.

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket. Image source: Rocket Lab.

Sunday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported that special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Vector Acquisition (VACQ), which was formed just three months ago, is nearing a deal to bring Rocket Lab public in a SPAC-sponsored IPO valued at $4.1 billion, including assumed debt.  

The Journal said that Vector Acquisition has already raised $300 million in its own IPO, and will probably try to attract $470 million more in a private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction to provide the newly public Rocket Lab with some additional start-up cash. Then, Rocket Lab is expected to invest that cash in a new class of medium-size rockets, which it calls the Neutron, that can lift larger payloads than its current small Electron rockets can manage.

Additional details may come when Vector officially announces its IPO plans for Rocket Lab, which could come as early as today.

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