Virgin Orbit Files for Bankruptcy Amid Financial Crisis

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company tied to British billionaire Richard Branson, is facing a financial crisis and may be on the verge of bankruptcy. The company’s valuation has dropped from nearly $4 billion in 2021 to less than $100 million today[1]. As of March 16, 2023, Virgin Orbit initiated a company-wide operational pause and is in discussions with investors to find a funding lifeline to save the company[2].

According to a CNBC report, Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart informed employees during an all-hands meeting that the company will be ceasing operations “for the foreseeable future” after failing to secure the necessary funding[3]. In response to the crisis, Virgin Orbit has begun drawing up detailed contingency plans for insolvency and is working with two restructuring firms, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) and Ducera, to explore alternative solutions[4,6,10].

The company’s financial troubles have led to the furlough of most of its employees, and bankruptcy could become a reality for the satellite launch provider as soon as this week[7]. Despite efforts to find new funding sources, Virgin Orbit is reportedly preparing for insolvency[6].

Virgin Orbit, founded by Richard Branson, went public in 2021 through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company[6]. The company is now facing one of the toughest financial strains in its history and may file for bankruptcy if it fails to secure funding as soon as possible[10].

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