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Air Taxi Investment Heats Up As Astro Aerospace To Buy Horizon Aircraft

Air taxi developer Astro Aerospace (ASDN) announced Thursday that it would acquire Horizon Aircraft to expand its offerings with Horizon’s Cavorite X5.




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Astro will acquire Horizon for 5 million shares of Astro stock. The deal is expected to close in 10 days, pending meeting closing conditions.

Brandon Robinson, the CEO and co-founder of Horizon, will be president of Astro and sit on the board of directors. Jason O’Neill, Horizon’s COO, will be become executive VP at Astro.

The merger will help Horizon continue the development of its Cavorite X5, a five-seat hybrid-electric air taxi. Horizon said that the air taxi has “lower operating costs, a reduced noise footprint, increased safety and lower carbon emissions,” than competitors.

Horizon has completed more than 200 test flights of a subscale prototype of the Cavorite X5.

Astro makes short-haul electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. It’s Alta offering uses a foldable design to be used in passenger, cargo, agricultural, medevac, rescue, military and other areas.


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Air Taxi Stocks

Astro Aerospace, which trades over the counter, jumped 11% to 3.16 on the stock market today. The Horizon deal comes after air taxi companies have seen a flurry of investment over the last year.

SPAC Reinvent Technology Partners (RTP) is taking Joby Aviation public through a merger that will give the combined company a $6.6 billion valuation. Toyota (TM) is also an investor in Joby.

Late last year, Joby bought Uber‘s (UBER) air taxi business, which includes partners like Textron‘s (TXT) Bell, Brazil’s Embraer (ERJ) and Boeing‘s (BA) Aurora Flight Sciences.

Air taxi startup Archer secured an investment from United Airlines (UAL) after announcing plans to go public via a blank-check merger with Atlas Crest Investment (ACIC). Archer will trade under the ticker ACHR.

Intel (INTC) is backing air taxi company Volocopter.

Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter for investing news and more.

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