SpaceX Seeks $500 Million Loan Via Goldman Sachs
(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX is seeking to borrow $500 million in the leveraged loan market, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is leading the talks with potential investors this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because plan is private. Spokesmen for Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Musk is the chief executive officer and largest shareholder of both SpaceX and Tesla Inc. Closely held SpaceX’s valuation has climbed to about $28 billion as it has routinely launched and landed rockets for reuse, significantly reducing the cost of space travel. It’s the third-most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S. after Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc.
SpaceX’s timing lets it take advantage of a borrower’s market in leveraged finance, even for companies like Uber and Tesla that are burning through cash. While investors have piled into loans this year in search of floating rate assets amid the Federal Reserve’s tightening, issuance has dropped by about 20 percent.
SpaceX has completed 17 missions already this year, one short of last year’s total. In addition to bringing in revenue by carrying satellites into space for telecommunications providers, defense companies and other customers, it also has contracts with U.S. military agencies and NASA worth billions of dollars.
NASA has awarded SpaceX contracts to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station as part of what’s known as NASA’s Commercial Crew program, but the timeline for the first flights has slipped repeatedly.
The latest schedule from the U.S. agency has SpaceX’s first demonstration fight slated for January, and the first flight with astronauts on board slated for June.
SpaceX has also been developing a plan to launch thousands of satellites that would blanket the Earth with internet access and is designing an even larger rocket, which Musk introduced to the world in 2016 as BFR. The company has said it plans to begin test flights next year.
Last month, Musk announced that Yusaku Maezawa, a billionaire online fashion entrepreneur, will be the first private passenger to ride in a rocket around the moon. The trip is slated for 2023.
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