Financial transaction

Astra makes deal with Craig McCaw’s Holicity to go public


Astra’s Rocket 3.2 sits on its launch pad in Alaska ahead of take-off in December 2020 (Astra Photo / John Kraus)

A California space company called Astra said it has finalized its financial transaction with Holicity, a Kirkland, Wash., Blank check company run by Seattle-area telecommunications pioneer Craig McCaw.

The business combination was approved by Holicity shareholders today, paving the way for Astra shares to be publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market starting Thursday. The ticker symbol for Astra’s common stock will be ASTR and the symbol ASTRW will be used for Astra’s warrants.

“Becoming a public company is an important step in our mission to improve life on Earth from space,” said Chris Kemp, founder, president and CEO of Astra, in a press release. “All of us at Astra are touched by the opportunity to have the support of public shareholders and are grateful to the many people who have done so much to help us realize our vision of a healthier, more connected planet. “

McCaw – a veteran of companies ranging from McCaw Cellular to Nextel to Teledesic – is the president and CEO of Holicity, a specialty acquisition company, or SPAC. The transaction, which values ​​Astra at more than $ 2 billion, brings in around $ 500 million in cash that Astra will use to accelerate its growth and expand its space services platform.

Terms of the transaction were announced in February. McCaw and Michael Lehman, former CFO of Sun Microsystems, will join Astra’s board of directors as part of the business combination.

“I am delighted to support Chris and his talented team as Astra begins the next chapter as a public company,” said McCaw.

Kemp praised McCaw and Lehman as “seasoned leaders who bring immense collective experience to the operations of state-owned technology companies that will benefit Astra and its shareholders.”

The Holicity share price closed today’s trading session at $ 12.35 and edged up in after-hours trading.

Last December, Astra launched a test rocket into space for the first time from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska, narrowly missing orbital speed. The five-year-old company says it has more than 50 launches under contract and plans to start delivering payloads to low earth orbit this summer. Its business plan foresees daily launches by 2025.

McCaw, meanwhile, has other plans in mind: Shortly after the Astra-Holicity deal was announced, McCaw founded another PSPC called Colicity, which has a $ 345 million war chest. dollars and focuses on investments in technology, media and telecommunications.


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