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Branson’s Virgin Orbit files Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan

Reuters/Henry Nicholls
A replica model of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket sits in a media area ahead of UK's first launch at Newquay Airport in Newquay, Britain, on January 8, 2023

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc and its subsidiaries in the United States filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy plan with the US bankruptcy court for the district of Delaware, the company said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Virgin Orbit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the satellite launch company struggled to secure long-term funding following a failed launch in January.

On Wednesday the company proposed a May 4 deadline for indications of interest for its assets, asking the court to approve bid procedures including interest deadlines and a bid deadline of May 14, 2023, it said in the statement.

“We expect the filing of the plan and disclosure statement will help us to efficiently conclude the chapter 11 process once we have completed the sale of the company,” Dan Hart, chief executive of Virgin Orbit said in the statement.

The company is seeking the sale of its assets, after laying off roughly 85 percent of its 750 employees.

The California-based company’s sixth mission in January using its centerpiece LauncherOne rocket, failed to reach orbit, sending its payload of commercial and defense-related research satellites plunging into the ocean.