AST & Science, a satellite-to-smartphone broadband provider, stated on Thursday that it plans to complete its SPAC merger next week. The company’s shares will be traded on the Nasdaq. The corporation disclosed intentions to combine with New Providence, a special purpose takeover company that operates under the ticker NPA, in 2020. Stockholders accepted the agreement on Thursday, with the sale set to close “on or around April 6”. AST Space Mobile will be the merged business of AST & Science and New Providence, and it will operate under the ticker ASTS.
Before the SPAC merger, Avellan established AST in May 2017 and raised around $121 million. He has put some capital into the business and will control 43 percent of AST as it becomes official, with the other 29 percent held by other current shareholders. Around 160 people work for the firm.
New Providence’s SPAC was disclosed in September 2019, receiving $230 million in a stock sale to “acquire a firm in the wider business industry,” according to the company’s website. In a quote, New Providence Chairman Alex Coleman stated, “AST SpaceMobile offers a rare opportunity to be able to invest in a visionary organization with innovative technologies, a built-in client base, and a versatile and scalable market model that solves one of the greatest barriers to global connectivity.”
A $230 million private placement fund led by AST’s current partners as well as joined by UBS O’Connor was also secured as part of the transaction. With Sir Richard Branson’s tourism firm Virgin Galactic premiering in late 2019 as well as space transportation expert Momentus planning to go public early next year in a contract with Stable Road Capital, the group is at least third in the space industry to follow the SPAC route to enter financial markets.
In Thursday’s trading, New Providence’s stock fell 2.4 % to $11.39 a share. AST SpaceMobile, headquartered in Midland, Texas, is constructing a constellation, or a network of satellites, that will bring broadband from space to customer smartphones. Established satellite networks need additional physical devices to connect to the system, such as Iridium’s mobile satellite phones or even SpaceX’s Starlink customer terminals.
The group, which raised around $120 million before the SPAC acquisition, expects the sale to bring around $462 million in net proceeds. AST plans to launch its next demo satellite, BlueWalker 3, later this year, using the new capital to finance the firm’s network growth. The planned completion of AST will be the first of a recent string of space SPAC mergers. In the last six months, seven space firms, including AST, have confirmed deals with SPACs.