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SpaceX IPO?

Posted by: Pronto - Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:21 am
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SpaceX IPO? 
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Post SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:21 am
I was wondering if anybody had a good idea on when SpaceX might have their Initial Public Offering. I read somewhere that they were thinking of doing it "soon" - but nothing else. It's definitely a company I've been following for awhile out of pure interest in space exploration - but I also think they're poised to become the leader supplying Earth-to-space transportation at all levels from comparison to the "other" guys. Definitely something worthwhile to invest in for the long term! The only thing I could think is that they would want to wait to IPO until after their first successful launch of Falcon 9 - but I don't want to be holding my breath forever for them go public.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:47 am
If they IPO... then they have a definite chance of turning into Boeing or Lockheed. Chasing low risk reliable profits every quarter. Easiest plan there is long term government cost plus contracts.

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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:55 pm
idiom wrote:
If they IPO... then they have a definite chance of turning into Boeing or Lockheed. Chasing low risk reliable profits every quarter. Easiest plan there is long term government cost plus contracts.

I agree. The only goal of a publicly owned company has to be near term growth and profits. Paperwork becomes a (bigger) nightmare too. The book "How to Get Rich" by Felix Dennis contains a good description of the consequences of going public.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:28 am
Years and year ago Elon said that it was like putting a big "sue me" sign up, so they probably wouldn't do it if it was just his money. But they've taken on outside investors, and at some point they will want an exit strategy, which is either IPO or M&A.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:20 am
I don't know much about going public, but shouldn't there be some way to make the initial offering more attractive to people who want results over profits? They would turn away alot of investors if they made the rights of shareholders more restrictive but they might still get enough interest in people who believe in the mission and product.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:54 am
i agree, it's a terrible idea from the perspective of them getting stuff done, but with a google-style model may be successful. i'd rather not see it happen though i'd love to buy some stock.

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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:11 am
Oh, I hadn't thought of that at all. You're right though. I'd rather see SpaceX push the envelope for space exploration and succeed then go public and be forced to please investors with short term results. But other then Elon and NASA with the COTS who else is putting money into it? I mean, constant R&D can't be cheap.

I wonder if there was eventually more competition in the space industry public companies would have to keep pushing new technologies to keep ahead. I guess there just isn't any small time way to invest in the space industry right now... I guess I'll have to leave it up to Elon and Sir Richard for now!


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:41 pm
I'm not sure I remember correctly, but I seem to remember Musk saying that they would be making money fairly quickly once the Falcon start flying regularly. He's got enough cash to keep funding for some years yet I expect, I would expect the profit potential once he get going to be pretty good.

If I were him, I keep it all to myself and a limited number of private investors. Then wait for the cash to roll in.

I think John Carmack has the same sort of plan.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:16 pm
Richard Branson took Virign something, Atlantic I think, public once. Regretted it in a big way and re-privatised all the stock less than a year later IIRC.

You don't want to go public if you don't really need to.

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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:39 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
He's got enough cash to keep funding for some years yet I expect,

Where do you get that from? With the two other companies, and the divorce, everything I've seen says he's out of money to throw at SpaceX. With their size now, they're going through a lot, which is why they're taking on external investors. I haven't looked yet to see if they've finished the $60M round they started earlier this year.

He should at least be getting a decent valuation, so it's not going to dilute his stake too bad.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:02 pm
While I would love to put my money behind Elon, I agree it would hurt the progress they are making. Wait unitl Falcon 9 heavy is flying and Dragon is transporting crews, then the company is just maintaining.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:26 pm
A Public Company would have a very very hard time justifying a multi-year loss leader like a Mars Mission.

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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:45 pm
Do the laws specifically say a public company is responsible for maximizing profit for its shareholders? Can he IPO less than 50% of the company and by doing so avoid being bound by public investors? Is there some kind of entity that allows him to IPO but specify that the entity can prioritize other objectives than profit, while still allowing it to make profit and paying dividends?

Just thinking out loud here. I would like to invest as well, both because I think there's profit potential and because I want to support space exploration, but I agree making the company public could be problematic.


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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:10 pm
Minthos wrote:
Do the laws specifically say a public company is responsible for maximizing profit for its shareholders? Can he IPO less than 50% of the company and by doing so avoid being bound by public investors? Is there some kind of entity that allows him to IPO but specify that the entity can prioritize other objectives than profit, while still allowing it to make profit and paying dividends?

Just thinking out loud here. I would like to invest as well, both because I think there's profit potential and because I want to support space exploration, but I agree making the company public could be problematic.


Any minority investor can sue the directors of a company if they think value is being destroyed. In a publicly traded company there are a *lot* of minority investors.

If you want to do something long range that won't return dividends reguarly and is high risk, you have to get every investor on board, something not possible with a public company.

Also if SpaceX is doing long term R&D or has a secret facility under construction or anything like that, a public company has to disclose that stuff every quarter, which gives Boeing and Lockheed the heads up.

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Post Re: SpaceX IPO?   Posted on: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:12 pm
Can he establish an investment fund that is publicly traded and invests solely in SpaceX, thereby wrapping all the investors into a single ball with no right to sue SpaceX? If he appoints himself as fund manager, the fund should guaranteed to be on board with every decision he makes as CEO of SpaceX..


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