Elon Musk last week told SpaceX employees the company isn’t likely to take its Starlink satellite internet business, public until 2025 or later, CNBC has learned, extending the estimated timeline for an initial public offering yet again.
“I’m not sure exactly when that [IPO] is, but maybe it will be like – I don’t know, just guessing – three or four years from now,” Musk said at an all-hands meeting of the private company’s employees on Thursday, according to an audio recording obtained by CNBC.
Musk emphasized as he has previously, that the Starlink business needs to be “in a smooth sailing situation” with “good predictability.” At that point, “I think spinning it off as a public company can make a lot of sense,” Musk said.
The latest timeline for a Starlink IPO represents another delay and comes despite repeated questions from a variety of investors over the years to own a piece of SpaceX—a stock that remains privately traded.
Musk previously targeted an offering as soon as this year, according to an email to SpaceX employees obtained by CNBC. The email, sent by Musk in May 2019, said “it will probably make sense to take Starlink public in about three years or so.”
The SpaceX CEO then pushed back that estimate, saying in a tweet last year that it would be “at least a few years before Starlink revenue is reasonably predictable,” adding that “going public sooner than that would be very painful.”