Virgin Orbit (VORB) files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The company founded by billionaire Richard Branson has filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure long-term funding.


Virgin Orbit (VORB), a company within Virgin Group that provided launch services for small satellites, has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today after failing to secure long-term funding after a failed launch back in January. In a press release from Virgin Orbit, CEO Dan Hart noted that Chapter 11 represents the "best path forward to identify and finalize an efficient and value-mixing sale." 

The press release goes on to outline that in effort to fund the process and protect its operations, Virgin Orbit has "received a commitment from Virgin Investments Limited for $31.6 million in new money DIP financing." Once the company sees approval from Bankruptcy Court, this DIP financing is expected to give Virgin Orbit "the necessary liquidity to continue operating as it furthers the marketing process commenced pre-petition to sell the Company and seek a value-maximizing transaction for the business and its assets." 

Virgin Orbit (VORB) stock showing shares at $0.15 each down 0.0440 and down 22 percent
© Yahoo Finance

In addition to bankruptcy, the company founded by billionaire Richard Branson in 2017 as a spin-off from his Virgin Galactic space tourism business, also announced layoffs recently of approximately 85 percent of its 750 employees. The filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy comes less than two years after Virgin Orbit first went public back in December 2021.

Virgin Orbit listed assets of around $243 million to a $153.5 million debt back in September of 2022. Now, the company has been valued at $65 million at the close of Monday trading, as reported by outlets like Reuters. And, as seen today, shares of Virgin Orbit have since dipped by as much as 24 percent and are now trading at $0.15 each.

Among the issues leading to the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy include its failed mission back in January where its prized LauncherOne rocket failed to reach orbit after being launched out of Britain, sending its payload of satellites plummeting into the ocean.

Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether Virgin Orbit can bounce back through methods including filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Looking to catch up with other stock market news? Check out some of our previous coverage, including how Nikola (NKLA) shares sunk to an all-time low after its $100 million stock offering saw itself priced below market, and how Capcom (9697) stock hit an all-time high with the company's valuation nearing $10 billion.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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