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Elon Musk’s SpaceX nears $150 billion valuation after secondary share sale

From CNBC:

The valuation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX hit near $150 billion following a share sale by existing investors announced this week, CNBC has learned.

SpaceX has an agreement with new and existing investors to sell up to $750 million in stock from insiders at $81 a share, according to a copy of the purchase offer sent by CFO Bret Johnsen on Thursday, which CNBC obtained.

The company did not announce a raise of new capital at this time, with the purchase offer representing a secondary sale of existing shares. Musk in April said that the company does “not anticipate needing to raise funding” to further bolster the programs for Starship, Starlink and other initiatives. SpaceX typically performs these secondary rounds about twice a year, to give employees and other company shareholders a chance to sell stock.

A Starship prototype stands on the company's launchpad in Boca Chica, Texas on March 16, 2022.
A Starship prototype stands on the company’s launchpad in Boca Chica, Texas on March 16, 2022.

The new share price represents an increase of about 5% from its previous secondary sale at $77 each, at a valuation of about $140 billion. SpaceX did not respond to a CNBC request for comment on the purchase offer.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal previously reported the company’s plan to sell shares.

SpaceX continues to rank as one of the most valuable private companies in the world, classifying it as a “centicorn” or “hectocorn” – a $1 billion unicorn, 100 times over.

The company has established a near-monopoly on the U.S. satellite launch market, thanks to its workhorse Falcon rockets and the struggles of rivals to field operational rockets to compete. Last month, SpaceX landed an orbital rocket booster for the 200th time and has launched 47 times so far this year, putting the company at a blistering average of a launch every four days.

Musk’s company has launched nearly 5,000 of its Starlink internet satellites to date.The service has grown to more than 1.5 million subscribers in under three years since its debut. SpaceX also projected that “Starlink will make money” in 2023, having achieved a cash flow positive quarter last year. It won a Pentagon contract last month to provide Starlink service in Ukraine, for an undisclosed amount.

Why Starship is indispensable for the future of SpaceX

Why Starship is indispensable for the future of SpaceX

SpaceX continues to spend heavily on development of its next-generation Starship rocket. Musk expects the company to spend about $2 billion on the vehicle’s development this year. The first Starship flight got off the launchpad and achieved several milestones, but also had multiple problems. SpaceX is preparing to attempt a second launch in the coming months, but awaits Federal Aviation Administration approval in order to do so. The FAA is also fighting an environmental lawsuit over how it regulates SpaceX’s Starship.

But SpaceX remains quiet about the potential IPO of its Starlink business. President Gwynne Shotwell said earlier this year that there is “no update.” Last year, CNBC reported that Musk told employees that the company isn’t likely to take Starlink public until 2025 or later.