Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit with a rocket under the wing of a modified Boeing 747 jetliner takes off for a primary drop test of a high-altitude launch system for satellites on July 10, 2019 from Mojave, Calif. To do.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Virgin Orbit has laid off almost all of its employees and halted operations for a week as it looks for a funding lifeline, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
Virgin Orbit shares are down about 33% in after-hours trading from Wednesday’s closing price of $1.01 a share. The stock has fallen steadily since December 2021 when he debuted near $10 a share.
Company executives briefed staff on the situation at an all-hands meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, according to people present at the meeting. The furlough is unpaid, but the employee can cash in on his PTO, but only a small team continues to work. Virgin Orbit also moves his salary up by a week to Friday.
At the all-hands meeting, company executives will provide employees with an update on furloughs and funding status by next Wednesday or Thursday, said the people, who asked not to be identified to discuss internal matters. said he was aiming for
A Virgin Orbit spokesperson confirmed in a statement to CNBC that the company has begun a “suspension of operations.” Virgin Orbit plans to provide “updates on upcoming operations in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson added.
Rocket manufacturers have developed systems to send satellites into space using modified 747 jets by dropping rockets from under the aircraft’s wing while in flight.but The company’s last mission suffered an in-flight failurethere was a problem during launch, the rocket did not reach orbit and crashed into the sea.
“Our research is nearly complete and our next production rocket incorporating the necessary changes is in the final stages of integration and testing,” said a Virgin Orbit spokesperson.
When Virgin Orbit reported Third quarter results In early November, the company disclosed cash on hand of $71.2 million at the end of the quarter. Faced with $30.9 million in earnings, Virgin Orbit reported that his adjusted EBITDA loss for the period was $42.9 million because he continued to use cash.
Since the fourth quarter, the company has Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The company raised his $25 million in unsecured convertible notes in November, followed by $20 million and $10 million in senior secured convertible notes in December and February respectively. . The note gives Branson’s parent company “top priority” for Virgin Orbit’s assets.
As of Wednesday, the company has not yet announced when it will report its fourth quarter 2022 results.
Earlier this week, Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart last-minutely canceled a scheduled panel appearance at the Space Industry Conference in Washington DC on Tuesday.