4 February 1998
News - Vehicles (None)
Barclays on board Roton
Rotary Rocket Gets Key Financial Advisor
Rotary Rocket Company, a California company developing the Roton single-stage to orbit reusable spacecraft, announced January 20 that it has brought on the same financial advisors who raised funding for the Iridium communications satellite project.

Barclays Capital, investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC, London, will serve as financial advisor for Rotary Rocket and placement agent for a $30 million to $35 million private equity investment in the company.

"In addition to being one of the largest banks in the world, Barclays' is one of the few that has a dedicated space division," said Frederick Giarrusso, chief financial officer for Rotary Rocket. The same team working for Rotary Rocket previously raised $1.75 billion for the Iridium network of 66 low-Earth-orbit communications satellites, currently being launched.

"The breakthrough technology and expert management of Rotary Rocket Company are an exceptional combination," said Afsaneh Naimollah, managing director, global head of the technologies group of Barclays Capital. "It will quickly become the world leader in cost-effective space transportation."

The funding Barclays' will attract will be used to complete development and flight testing the Roton. The first atmospheric flight tests of the Roton are planned for early 1999, with final tests, using a new rotary aerospike engine, scheduled for late that year. Rotary Rocket plans to put the Roton in commercial service in 2000.

Rotary Rocket also announced that it will provide free flights for small "Bantam-class" spacecraft on scientific missions to NASA and
others. "We like to think of it as a 'Reverse Getaway Special' program," Gary Hudson, CEO of Rotary Rocket, said online. "The purpose is only to offer flight opportunities to scientists; it is a gift to the American taxpayer, nothing more."

For more information see the full press release. - SFJ
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4 February 1998
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