Virgin Orbit will lay off approximately 85% of its workforce.

  • Whatsapp

On Thursday, rocket manufacturer Virgin Orbit Holdings (VORB.O) announced that it would be laying off approximately 85% of its staff because it had been unsuccessful in its attempts to secure new investment.

The Virgin Group, which is controlled by Richard Branson, caused a 38% drop in the price of the company’s shares during after-hours trading.

According to a regulatory filing, Virgin Orbit stated that approximately 675 employees will be let go from their positions, and the business anticipates taking connected charges of approximately $15 million.

According to the filing, this decision was made because “the company was unable to secure meaningful funding.” This was the reason for the move.

In 2021, Virgin Orbit went public by way of a blank-check transaction, which resulted in the company raising $255 million less money than anticipated. The recent failure to raise funds, combined with the failure of a rocket launch in January, has increased the pressure that is being placed on the business.

The news agency Reuters reported a week ago that Texas-based Matthew Brown had been in discussions to make an investment of two hundred million dollars in the business. Reuters reported on Monday that two people who were acquainted with the discussions but asked not to be identified said that the talks had ended in failure.

Following Brown’s appearance on CNBC the previous week, Virgin Orbit released a statement in which it said it “notes the comments made by Matthew Brown in relation to the company.” The statement also added that the company was in the midst of investment discussions with potential partners but declined to comment any further. Brown did not wish to comment on the matter on Monday.

According to the filings made with the securities regulators, since November, Branson’s Virgin Group has extended $50 million in financing to the satellite launch business in the form of debt that is secured against its equipment and other assets in the event that it declares bankruptcy.

On March 15, nearly all of Virgin Orbit’s 750 employees were given unpaid leave as part of what a representative for the company referred to as a “operational pause.” This was done while the company searched for a financial lifeline that would enable it to concentrate on improving its rocket design.

According to an email sent to staff members at the time, a handful of workers reported back to the office on March 23 to concentrate on rocket engine work.

The business anticipates that the majority of the layoffs will be completed by April 3.

Related posts