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Astra Space co-founders to take company private

(Reuters) - Small rocket maker Astra Space said on Thursday it has agreed to be taken private by the company's CEO, Chris Kemp, and CTO, Adam London, for 50 cents per share in cash for a valuation of about $11.25 million.

Astra, at the close of the transaction which is expected in the second quarter of 2024, is likely to be owned by a number of long-term investors of the company, including the co-founders.

Shares of the company were down 33% at 57 cents.

Only two of Astra's five launches since going public have been successful - one of which was for the U.S. Space Force and the other for a rideshare mission for on-orbit servicing company Spaceflight, where all payloads were deployed successfully.

The co-founders had previously attempted to acquire the company for $27.8 million, or $1.50 per share, in November.

The updated offer price of 50 cents per share represents a more than 32% discount on the stock's closing price on Nov. 8, a day before the co-founders' original bid was disclosed.

The company, in October, was reportedly considering selling a 51% stake in its in-space propulsion business, among other strategic sale options.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)