Virgin Orbit extends bankruptcy auction as dozens of buyers circle

Virgin Orbit extends bankruptcy auction as dozens of buyers circle

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Virgin Orbit Cosmic Girl 747

Bidding in Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy auction has been extended, with the company saying it has received interest from more than 30 potential buyers.

The deadline for final bids on the aerospace firm has been pushed out by four days, from 15 May to 19 May, with the deadline for notifying valid bidders pushed out from 17 to 21 May. Should there be more than one bidder for Virgin Orbit, the auction will now take place in 22 May, as opposed to the 18th.

In a statement last week, Dan Hart, chief executive of Virgin Orbit, said multiple parties were interested in buying the company as an “integrated enterprise”, retaining employees and keeping it operational.

“I’m pleased with the number and quality of the indications of interest we’ve received, which we believe reflects the innovative ideas and hard work the team has put into the development of this unique system,” he said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with those who have expressed interest and other parties as we approach the final bid deadline.”

Virgin Orbit filed for bankruptcy last month, days after it announced it would cease operations and make around 90 per cent of its workforce redundant.

At the time, Hart said in a statement he believed the “cutting-edge technology” created by the business would have “wide appeal to buyers”.

“While we have taken great efforts to address our financial position and secure additional financing, we ultimately must do what is best for the business,” he said.

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Virgin Orbit is the successor to a project begun by Virgin Galactic and uses a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft to launch payloads into space from midair. The company has kept a skeleton crew of 100 people working on the next launch from its LauncherOne system, scheduled for later this year, following the failure of its previous launch in January.

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