Rocket Lab acquires Planetary Systems Corporation in cash-and-stock deal

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Rocket Lab continues its acquisition strategy, this time with a cash and stock deal with Planetary Systems Corporation.

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The news was announced ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings release. Rocket Lab said it would buy the company for $42 million in cash, plus 1,720,841 shares of common stock, with the potential for additional shares based on future performance.

PSC is a spacecraft separation systems company based in Maryland. More than 100 missions have used its mechanical separation systems and satellite dispensers. The company makes a “canisterized satellite dispenser” to detach spacecraft from rockets while protecting them during launch. PSC’s hardware is integrated with launch vehicles developed domestically by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance and the now retired NASA Space Shuttle; and internationally by Arianespace, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and others.

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The deal comes as Rocket Lab continues to pursue its goal of becoming not only a launch provider, but a fully vertically integrated space services company, offering everything from transportation to orbit to spacecraft. Rocket Lab said in a statement that it will use product hardware in its Space Systems division, which includes its Photon satellite buses and spacecraft component products.

This is Rocket Lab’s third acquisition in nearly eighteen months. Last month, the company announced that it has acquired Colorado-based company Advanced Solutions, Inc. which develops flight software for spacecraft. Rocket Lab also acquired Sinclair Interplanetary, a maker of space hardware, in April last year.

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The PSC will be headed by current CEO Mike Whelan. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

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