Boeing and Rolls-Royce backed aerospace engineering firm Reaction Engines is preparing to launch a more than £1bn initial public offering (IPO).
The Oxfordshire-headquartered spaceplane designer has told shareholders it intends to raise a pre-IPO round of funding, with a view to listing its shares on public markets as soon as 2024, Sky News first reported.
First founded in 1989 by former Rolls-Royce engineers Richard Varvill and John Scott-Scott and aerospace pioneer Alan Bond, Reaction Engines expects the IPO could value the firm at between £1bn- £2bn.
Reaction Engines is backed by some of the world’s major aerospace companies, including Boeing, Rolls-Royce Holdings, and BAE Systems, which bought a 20 per cent stake in the firm in 2015.
The space vehicle designer currently employs more than 200 people in the Oxfordshire town of Harwell and the Colorado city of Denver.
The firm has in the past received finance from the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency, and the US’ DARPA research agency.
Last year, Reaction Engines launched a spin-out company to begin marketing technology first designed for its SABRE rocket engine to enable use of ammonia as a zero-carbon fuel.