Updated Nov. 10 to note cancellation of quarterly earnings call.
CEDAR PARK, Texas — Two founders of Astra Space have offered to take the launch vehicle and spacecraft propulsion company private for nearly $30 million.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Nov. 9, the company said it received a non-binding offer from Chris Kemp and Adam London, chief executive and chief technology officer respectively of Astra, to take the company private at $1.50 per share. That would be more than double the $0.74 share price the company had at the close of trading Nov. 8. The deal would value the company at nearly $30 million.
Kemp and London are founders of Astra and hold all of the company’s Class B stock, which constitute 66% of the voting power of the company. Astra said that a special committee comprised of most of the company’s independent directors will review the proposal “and pursue the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of all of the Company’s unaffiliated stockholders.”
In a letter to that special committee, Kemp and London said they were responding to a request from that committee to make an offer. “We believe that Astra’s strategic objectives and business prospects will be best served as a private company,” they wrote. “Taking the company private while delivering a meaningful premium to current shareholders allows for the best interests of shareholders as well as the Company, its employees and its customers to be met.”
Kemp and London did not disclose their sources of financing for their proposal but said they “anticipate raising $60–65 million of capital.” That funding would cover buying the outstanding shares, transaction expenses and bridge financing while the deal closes. They added their plans are also based on the expectation the company will close an ongoing funding round of $15 million to $25 million the company announced last month.
Astra’s cash reserves have dropped precipitously, causing the company to default on terms of a loan it received in August at the end of October. That triggered additional payments and a higher interest rate.
Astra announced Nov. 6 that it had raised $13.4 million in interim financing from two investors as part of the proposed financing of $15 million to $25 million. That financing included buying the earlier loan as well as providing a new $3.05 million bridge loan that is due Nov. 17.
Astra did not disclose when it might choose to accept the proposal. Astra was scheduled to release its fiscal third quarter financial results after the markets close Nov. 13, but the company said late Nov. 9 that it was canceling the earnings call scheduled for that day.