Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based space technology start-up that builds spacecraft to land on the moon, announced Friday that it would go public through a merger with a blank check company, Inflection Point Acquisition Corp becomes. The deal, which values the space technology provider at more than $1 billion, will allow the startup to expand its services in the lunar environment.
9-year-old Intuitive and her lunar payload delivery services are one of NASA’s contractors selected by the space agency for three lunar missions to send the first American spacecraft to the lunar surface since the Apollo program.
As part of the transaction, Intuitive Machines will partner with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Inflection Point Acquisition Corp. merge. The transaction is expected to close in about four months with the new company called Intuitive Machine. The combined company will trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol LUNR.
In a statement, Intuitive Machines co-founder and CEO Steve Altemus said the company will raise between $100 million and $400 million in new capital through the public offering. Post-merger, the combined company will have an enterprise value of nearly $815 million, the two companies said in a statement.
“Intuitive Machines is at the forefront of commercializing cislunar space,” Altemus said in an interview with Ars. “When we thought about expanding our lead and moving infrastructure around cislunar space, it was time to raise capital . That really gives the financial means to take the next steps.”
Sometimes referred to as a blank check company, SPAC is a shell company that has no operations but plans to go public with the intent to acquire or merge with a company that will use the proceeds from the SPAC IPOs uses.
SPACs account for 60 of the 90 US initial public offerings (IPOs) so far this year, according to data from SPAC analytics firm SPACAnalytics.com. The De-SPAC index, which tracks some of these companies, is down over 50% so far this year.
The recent merger also comes at a challenging time for the US SPAC market as regulatory scrutiny is tightened and investor repayments are high.