Planetary Systems Corp. will be acquired by Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab announced on November 15 that it is purchasing Planetary Systems Corporation (PSC), which is a maker of satellite separation systems. This is Rocket Lab’s second purchase in as many months. PSC, based in Maryland, will be purchased by Rocket Lab for $42 million in form of cash as well as 1.72 million shares of the stock. Based on the PSC’s financial performance in the years 2022 and 2023, the agreement comprises an earnout bonus of a maximum of 956,000 more shares. Depending on the closing rate of Rocket Lab’s stock on November 15, the overall value of the purchase is $81.4 million.

PSC develops technology that allows satellites to be launched from launch vehicles. This comprises the Lightband range of satellite separation technologies as well as the Canisterized Satellite Dispenser for tiny satellite deployment. According to Rocket Lab, the systems have completed 100 missions with a 100% success rate.

“Walt Holemans, the PSC founder as well as his team have established an incredible business based on best-in-class, trustworthy products,” Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s chief executive, said in a call regarding the company’s third-quarter financial results on November 15.

“We believe there are constructive synergies which can be accomplished post-acquisition in reducing lead time, scaling production, and driving expenditure to provide our clients with an even improved service offering than they’ve had before,” he said, adding that “adding PSC to Rocket Lab crew continues the implementation of our strategy of broadening product portfolio with the best-in-class product offerings.”

Rocket Lab has now acquired PSC for the second time in as many months. Advanced Solutions, Inc. (ASI), which is a Colorado-based technical firm that produces simulation systems, flight software, as well as guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) systems, was purchased by the corporation on October 12. ASI was purchased for $40 million by Rocket Lab.

Beck stated in a talk at the moment of the ASI deal that Rocket Lab was exploring into nearly a half-dozen other acquisitions, using cash plus publicly traded stock from the merger with a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) that concluded in August to fund them. “There are some really wonderful firms out there,” he stated at the time, “that when joined with Rocket Lab can truly scale.”

“The kinds of acquisitions we’re trying to pursue here are ones that are best-in-class technology that we utilize, trust, and know really well,” Beck said on the results call. This will result in what he refers to as a “cabinet of possibilities that we can be able to deploy, not merely in our systems but also on others’.”

Because of better productivity by its space systems section, Rocket Lab recorded $5.3 million in terms of revenue in the third quarter, slightly exceeding estimates of $4–5 million. The firm reported EBITDA (adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of –$17.5 million, which was within the $17–20 million loss range it had predicted.

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