Morgan Techshot
NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan poses with Techshot's BioFabrication Facility on the International Space Station in 2019. Redwire announced Nov. 2 it will acquire Techshot for an undisclosed sum. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — Redwire, a company built up by acquiring a series of space technology companies, has purchased space biotechnology company Techshot.

Redwire announced Nov. 2 that it had purchased Techshot, an Indiana-based company that develops biotechnology payloads for microgravity research. Redwire declined to disclose the terms of the sale.

Techshot was founded by Mark Deuser and John Vellinger to commercialize research that started when Vellinger was a student at Purdue University, developing a payload flown on the space shuttle to study chicken embryo growth in space. The company, with about 50 employees today, has since developed a range of biotechnology and physical sciences research payloads, including a bioprinter currently on the ISS capable of producing human tissues.

“As part of Redwire, we now have more of the resources we need to help accelerate the development of our growing portfolio of new space biomedical technologies, while we continue to provide great service to our research and deep space exploration customers,” Vellinger, president of Techshot, said in a statement announcing the acquisition.

Techshot is the latest company acquired by Redwire, founded last year by private equity firm AE Industrial Partners by combining two companies it had acquired, Adcole Space and Deep Space Systems. It has since acquired several more companies, such as space manufacturing company Made In Space and Deployable Space Systems, a developer of spacecraft structures and solar arrays.

“Adding Techshot’s leading position in commercial space biotechnology with Redwire’s leading position in on-orbit material manufacturing adds significant scale and synergy to our commercial space offerings,” Peter Cannito, chairman and chief executive of Redwire, said in a statement. “This is a giant leap forward in our vision for people living and working in space for the benefit of the terrestrial economy.”

A desire by Redwire to make more acquisitions was a key factor in its decision to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. That merger closed Sept. 2, turning Redwire into a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s shares, which had traded as low as $8.78 in early October, closed Nov. 1 at $12.72 ahead of the announcement of the Techshot deal.

Redwire executives said earlier this year that they intended to use the proceeds of the SPAC merger, estimated at $170 million when announced in March, as “dry powder” for use to making future acquisitions. The company had paused such deals while it completed the SPAC merger, but executives said they had a number of prospective acquisitions in its pipeline.

“Redwire is uniquely positioned as a first-mover industry consolidator,” Cannito said in an analysts’ day presentation in July where he and other executives discussed the company’s plans. “Space is a highly fragmented market and Redwire has been the buyer of choice, combining niche technology companies that provide tremendous flight heritage with new space startups with disruptive technologies.”

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...