Small satellite builder and operator Terran Orbital is preparing to go public, making it the latest in a flurry of space companies to announce a SPAC merger this year.
Terran is merging with special purpose acquisition company Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp., a SPAC which trades under the ticker TWNT. The deal gives Terran a $1.8 billion equity valuation and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, resulting in Terran listing on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker LLAP.
A SPAC or special purpose acquisition company raises capital in an initial public offering and uses the proceeds to purchase a private firm and take it public.
“Terran Orbital is the largest independently-owned manufacturer of small satellites in the United States,” Terran Orbital co-founder and CEO Marc Bell said in a statement. “With our high volume, innovative manufacturing of small satellites, we will be able to deliver emerging technologies to space faster, more affordably and with greater reliability than anyone.”
Shares of Tailwind Two rose 1% in trading from its previous close of $9.89.
Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, the company last month announced plans to develop a 660,000 square foot manufacturing facility near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Terran says the facility will cost $300 million to build, and will be able to produce over 1,000 spacecraft per year once operational.
The deal is expected to add about $330 million in cash for Terran’s growth, with funds coming through those raised by Tailwind Two as well as a $50 million PIPE round – or private investment in public equity – which included investors AE Industrial Partners, Beach Point Capital and Lockheed Martin.
Terran also plans to build its own system of earth imagery satellites, with 96 spacecraft in orbit. The company plans to launch the first two of its satellites next year, and have the full constellation in orbit by 2026.
The company had $25 million in revenue last year, all from its satellite solutions unit, and expects that to rise to $35 million this year. The company expects to be profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis by 2023, and projects $2.6 billion in revenue by 2026 – with $918 million coming from satellite solutions and $1.7 billion from its earth imagery business.
Terran joins a trend of space companies going public through SPAC deals, with Virgin Galactic the first of the recent generation in 2019. Several have closed and begun trading – including Astra, AST SpaceMobile, Rocket Lab, Spire Global, BlackSky, Momentus, and Redwire – with others having merger agreements in place – including Planet Labs, Virgin Orbit and Satellogic.