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SpaceX eyes IPO

  • SpaceX (SPACE) is likely to spin off its satellite-based broadband business and pursue an IPO, according to COO Gwynne Shotwell.
  • Shotwell made the comment today at a small investor conference in Miami, according to Bloomberg.
  • Last year, Morgan Stanley set a bull case valuation of $120B on SpaceX (Starlink satellite and rocket business).
  • A lofty valuation for SpaceX could also give a boost to Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE).

Is Elon Musk’s SpaceX likely to IPO in 2020?

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk  made one of the long-awaited announcements – It is now official; SpaceX will be taking NASA astronauts to the moon before the close of the first half of 2020.

The announcement by Mr Musk comes after successfully conducting tests of the Crew Dragon and clearing it for the mission.

As the clock ticks towards the space visit, many are still wondering whether the spacecraft company will finally issue its IPO this year.

In truth, to date, investors have only been treated to speculations about the company’s listing.

Musk had in the past indicated that SpaceX would be remaining private to ensure its objectives are achieved continuously.

Public companies are tasked with many obligations to the public and internal stakeholders. For instance, SpaceX would be required to maintain a certain level of transparency that perhaps the current private investors are reluctant to offer at the time.

According to Musk, the restrictions and regulations that SpaceX will be subjected to once it goes public might skew the firm off its planned destination. One of its short-term objectives is to take the first group of humans to the planet Mars, by 2026.

As a private company, SpaceX enjoys a higher level of flexibility in its operations, structuring, and accountability.

Currently, the spacecraft manufacturer enjoys a good working relationship with NASA, and sources indicate that the civil space program has paid Elon’s firm about $3.14 billion even as it smoothens rough edges ready for the astronaut’s trip to the International Space Station (ISS).

Other than human transportation, SpaceX has another agreement with NASA for cargo delivery to ISS.

According to individuals familiar with the dealings, NASA has agreed to pay $55 million per astronaut transported to space.

And when it comes to finances, SpaceX’s bank account balances remain positive. Meaning, funding can never be an issue for Elon. So if there is going to be an IPO, it will undoubtedly come after the planned space trip.

SpaceX has been famed for some of the most significant milestones in the history of space exploration. In 2010, the company became the first to send a ship to space and landed it back on earth safely.

We will keep an eye on the developments on SpaceX’s IPO.


(Sources Bloomberg, SeekingAlpha, SpaceX, Space.com, Invezz)


 

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