Spaceport president says reverse takeover will provide greater flexibility to secure financing for future

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HALIFAX: Commercial satellite launch company Maritime Launch Services (MLS) Inc. is now set to go public on the Canadian Securities Exchange after the completion of a reverse takeover (RTO) of Jaguar Financial Corporation.

In an interview with The Reporter, Stephen Matier, the company’s president and CEO, advised the RTO that closed on April 1 is a process where private companies can become publicly traded companies without going through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

When asked why MLS intended to go public, Matier said it would provide greater flexibility to secure financing for the future.

“It was a desirable move because it adds liquidity to our shares,” he said. “And it’s attractive to investors; it helps us gain access to capital.”

In addition, going public allows Nova Scotians and Canadians the opportunity to directly participate in the company as shareholders and Jaguar Financial Corporation was required to change its name to Maritime Launch Services Inc. as a result of the RTO.

Founded in 2016, MLS has been developing Canada’s first commercial orbital launch site that will provide satellite delivery services to clients from a proposed launch site just outside of Canso and the development continues trying to finalize the last pieces to get construction started this year.

As for the development of Yuzhmash’s launch vehicle, the company’s Dnipro-based project partners that are supplying MLS with Cyclone-4M rockets for their space launch services remain unscathed amidst a Russian invasion into the Ukraine.

“Our suppliers for the launch vehicles are fine, the city that they’re in is not at the front of the war, it’s more centrally located, and they’re continuing to support us,” Matier said. “That doesn’t mean that it isn’t worrisome, certainly there is concern for our friends, colleagues and for all the people of Ukraine, it’s a horrifying experience to see happening, but with respect to the launch vehicle things are stable.”

The president of the commercial satellite company advised they have a plan they’re executing, which is kind of a phased approach to bringing launch capabilities to Canada.

“There’s no change to the plan we’re in right now, and we hope we don’t have to pivot,” Matier said. “If we do, we will and we have had more than half a dozen launch vehicle companies reach out to us that want to use our facility.”

Pursuant to the terms of the RTO agreement, holders of common shares of Maritime Launch Services Ltd. received 4.5 Jaguar shares for each MLS share held and all outstanding warrants, broker warrants and convertible debentures of MLS will be exchanged for equivalent securities of Jaguar.

As a result of the transaction, Matier, Sasha Jacob, François Desjardins, and Susan McArthur will be directors, while Keith Abriel will be the chief financial officer.

“Delighted to have the talent that has joined the board of directors, the previous board was just myself and Sasha Jacob,” Matier said. “Adding François, Susan and Keith and their tons of experience in business and public companies, they’re absolutely fantastic additions to our team, especially as a publically traded company.”

Additionally, Matier suggested they’re continuing to grow their staff in Nova Scotia, whether that’s direct employees or contractors that they’re bringing on board, and despite the uncertainties around the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they remain close to schedule.

“Certainly looking at a construction start as early as this year; to be able to get to a launch it’s certainly going to take us some time, there are realities,” Matier said. “Because of the war in Ukraine, that is slowing down the process a little bit, but generally we’re still on the same time table.”

Highlighting another avenue, Matier advised MLS is part of a brand new organization Space Canada, which is a new organization, intended to promote the development of space activity in Canada.

“There’s a huge opportunity for Canada to be a launching state, and that’s a big deal,” he added. “There’s no reason why Canada broadly can’t have a significant role in the development of the commercial space industry.”