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Astra May Soon Go Private

The founders of struggling space company Astra (NASDAQ:ASTR) have offered to take the company private at a value of about $30 million, according to a securities filing on Thursday.

Chris Kemp, chairman and CEO, and Adam London, chief technology officer, delivered a proposal to the Astra board of directors on Wednesday to acquire all the company’s outstanding stock at $1.50 a share.

That price is a 103% premium to Wednesday’s closing price at 74 cents a share, which represents a market value of about $16 million.

Astra’s rocket launching business has been on hiatus since a June 2022 mission failure. The company is running out of cash, with its acquired spacecraft propulsion business yet to drive meaningful quarterly revenue. Astra cut 25% of its workforce in early August to shift focus from its rocket development to its spacecraft engine production.

Last month, Astra’s cash reserve slipped below $10.5 million and it defaulted on a debt raise, it disclosed on Friday. The company then on Monday raised financing from a pair of investors to pay off that outstanding debt.

The Alameda, Calif.-based Astra went public via a SPAC merger at a $2.6-billion valuation in February 2021. The company aimed to cheaply and rapidly produce small rockets. While Astra reached orbit twice successfully, the company suffered three launch failures after going public.

ASTR shares mushroomed Thursday 56 cents, or 75.7%, to $1.30.