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Cellular satellite venture AST raises $28m more cash

Scott Wisniewski AST.jpg

Cellular satellite company AST SpaceMobile has generated a further US$28 million to further its ambitions by selling its stake in smallsat company NanoAvionics.

Nasdaq-listed AST SpaceMobile is working with companies such as Globe Telecom, Rakuten and Vodafone to build a satellite-based network that would be compatible with ground-based cellular masts and networks.

It has been raising as much cash as it can to fund the project. In late 2020 it announced a plan to secure $462 million in additional financing.

Now it appears to be pulling together what additional cash it can. It said has a definitive agreement to sell its majority ownership stake in NanoAvionics, based in Lithuania.

The buyer is Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, a Norwegian specialist in industrial space company and maritime surveillance.

Scott Wisniewski (pictured), AST SpaceMobile chief strategy officer, said: “We are proud of our partnership with NanoAvionics and wish the entire team continued success in its next chapter.”

He explained: “The planned sale of our investment in NanoAvionics will provide additional liquidity and allow AST SpaceMobile to focus on its core, direct-to-cell phone technology and the launch of the first commercial satellites.”

He did not say whether AST now has enough money, but made the cautious comment: “Together with existing balance sheet cash, proceeds from the sale and the recently announced $75 million committed equity facility, we have access to significant liquidity to execute our business plan.”

The transaction values NanoAvionics at an enterprise valuation of approximately $68 million and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.

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