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Rocket Lab USA Blasting Off on $4.1B SPAC Deal With Vector

Rocket Lab USA will go public by merging with the Vector Acquisition SPAC and unveils plans for its Neutron rocket.

Rocket Lab USA, a closely held aerospace company, said Monday that it would go public by merging with special-purpose-acquisition company Vector Acquisition VACQ, a deal valued at $4.1 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, Rocket Lab said in a statement. Vector then will change its name to Rocket Lab USA Inc. and the combined company will trade under the Nasdaq ticker symbol RKLB.

The transaction puts Rocket Lab's enterprise valuation at $4.1 billion. The company is expected to have a cash balance of about $750 million after the deal closes. 

The transaction, approved by the boards of both companies, is subject to approval by Vector’s shareholders.

Rocket Lab also unveiled plans for its Neutron rocket, which the company described as "an 8-ton payload-class launch vehicle tailored for megaconstellation deployment, interplanetary missions and human space flight."

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Neutron launches will take place from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility. The first launch is expected to occur in 2024.

Founded in 2006 in New Zealand, Rocket Lab is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and has about 500 employees. Vector is headquartered in San Francisco.

The company's backers include Lockheed Martin  (LMT) - Get Lockheed Martin Corporation Report. Rocket Lab has launched 97 satellites for the government and for private companies for applications including research and communications.

More than 100 new small-rocket ventures worldwide are aiming to serve lighter satellites.

SPAC deals have been surging on Wall Street as companies look to go public more quickly, avoiding the extended process of initial public offerings.

So far this year, SPAC deals have made up 80% of the 235 IPOs, according to SPAC Analytics.