WASHINGTON — Shares of satellite maker Terran Orbital Corp. were cleared to begin trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LLAP, Live Long and Prosper, the Vulcan greeting from the Star Trek television series.
The merger of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp. and Terran Orbital was finalized on March 25, following a shareholder vote on March 22.
Terran Orbital announced gross proceeds of approximately $255.4 million from SPAC and a concurrent private equity investment round (PIPE) that includes equity and debt.
Participants in the $50.8 million PIPE include AE Industrial Partners, Beach Point Capital, Lockheed Martin and Fuel Venture Capital. Debt financing of $175.3 million was provided by Francisco Partners, Beach Point Capital and Lockheed Martin. Total debt includes capital advanced to Terran Orbital in November 2021 and March 2022.
“We are well positioned to accelerate our growth strategy following this business combination,” said Marc Bell, co-founder, president and CEO of Terran Orbital, in a statement. “The capital raised through this transaction along with our new access to public markets will allow us to continue to expand our manufacturing capabilities and launch one of the most advanced constellations of small Earth observation satellites on the planet. “
With the merger complete, Bell has big plans for Terran Orbital.
“We are on a mission to become the world’s largest manufacturer of small satellites,” Bell said. SpaceNews at the Satellite 2022 conference.
Although Terran Orbital has its roots in Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, the company focuses on building satellites in the 350-450 kilogram range rather than nanosatellites or cubesats. The 350 to 450 kilogram satellites have enough power for most missions involving the Department of Defense, US intelligence agencies and NASA, Bell said.
Terran Orbital “will continue to innovate in all different types of payloads: 5G, radio frequency, electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar [SAR]Bell said. “You come to us with a problem you want to solve from space, and we’ll help you solve it.”
Tyvak and PredaSAR, a SAR constellation developer, are business units of Terran Orbital, based in Boca Raton, Florida. With 300 employees, Terran Orbital’s staff has more than tripled over the past year “and we continue to see rapid growth,” Bell said.
As stock prices have fallen for many space-related companies that have completed SPAC mergers over the past year, Bell said now is the time for Terran Orbital to go public as the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrated many important applications of small satellites.
“We consider ourselves a national security and defense company,” Bell said. The war in Ukraine “opened people’s eyes to the need for SAR at a tactically relevant refresh rate,” he added.
With funds from the business combination, Terran Orbital intends to expand its manufacturing capacity and become more vertically integrated. Already, the company produces 65 components, or about 85% of the satellites it manufactures.
“You have to be vertically integrated to control your destiny,” Bell said.