SpaceX valuation climbs to $180 billion


SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket is launched from the company’s Boca Chica launchpad on an uncrewed test flight, near Brownsville, Texas, on Nov. 18, 2023.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

The valuation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX hit $180 billion based on an ongoing secondary share sale, CNBC confirmed Wednesday.

The company is discussing an agreement with investors to sell stock from insiders in a purchase offer at $97 a share, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The offer does not include raising new capital, as the purchase offer represents a secondary sale of existing shares and is expected to close in January.

SpaceX typically performs these secondary rounds about twice a year, to give employees and other company shareholders a chance to sell stock. The latest valuation represents a 20% increase from SpaceX’s previous high of $150 billion, which the company hit through a July secondary sale at $81 a share.

It has a near-monopoly on the U.S. satellite launch market, due to its workhorse Falcon rockets and the struggles of rivals to field operational rockets to compete. SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet business is seen as a key economic driver for the company, with more than 5,000 satellites launched to date and a service boasting upward of two million subscribers. Its monstrous Starship vehicle continues to advance in flight tests, representing an attempt to create a next-generation reusable rocket of unprecedented scale and power.

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The company is one of the most valuable private companies in the world, classifying it as a “centicorn” or “hectocorn” — a $1 billion unicorn, 100 times over.

SpaceX’s latest valuation ranks the company above the market value of any of the top U.S. defense contractors — including Boeing (about $150 billion), Lockheed Martin (about $112 billion) and Northrop Grumman (about $73 billion) — as well as the most valuable U.S. telecommunications companies — such as Verizon (about $154 billion) or AT&T (about $115.9 billion), according to FactSet data on Wednesday.

The company did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the sale process. Bloomberg first reported SpaceX’s $97 a share pricing.

Elon Musk's Starlink business has grown quickly and so has its influence

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