LONDON, England: Reuters has reported that struggling Virgin Orbit, owned by billionaire Richard Branson, is nearing a $200-million investment deal from Texas-based venture capital investor Matthew Brown, through a private share placement.
Virgin said that it would resume operations on 23rd March and is recalling some of its employees to prepare for its next mission, but it did not comment on the potential deal.
Matthew Brown Companies has not responded to requests for comment.
Compared to more than $3 billion two years ago when it went public through a blank-check deal, Virgin Orbit's market capitalization has declined to a record low of $150 million.
In January, Virgin's rocket LauncherOne failed to deploy nine small satellites into lower Earth orbit.
After recently receiving some $35 million in capital injections from Branson's Virgin Investments, the space startup said it was exploring options and was in talks for more funding.
Through the deal's terms, which are not binding and remain subject to final agreement, Virgin Orbit and Matthew Brown are expected to sign their agreement within days.
Under the agreement, Matthew Brown can convert his $200 million investment in preferred shares into common shares at the volume weighted average price in the 30 days before the deal is signed.
The converted shares will have the same voting rights as common stock.
With a stake of nearly 75 percent, Virgin Investments is currently the largest shareholder.