Rocket Lab acquires SailGP manufacturing facility in Warkworth

Rocket Lab is taking over SailGP Technologies' Warkworth manufacturing facility.
Rocket Lab is taking over SailGP Technologies' Warkworth manufacturing facility. Photo credit: Supplied

Rocket Lab has purchased a facility in New Zealand used to make SailGP boats, bolstering the company's local manufacturing ability and keeping highly trained staff in the country. 

The aerospace company announced the acquisition following the decision by SailGP Technologies to relocate from Warkworth to the UK, which it said was taken to allow the racing league to grow more effectively.  

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck says SailGP Technologies already provides materials and components for the Electron rocket.  

More than 50 former SailGP Techologies staff will join Rocket Lab, continuing in the manufacturing of parts for the Electron rocket and allowing for faster development of Neutron, the company's new 13,000kg payload class rocket.  

"The transition from sea to skies ensures we keep advanced composites talent and expertise in New Zealand, supporting the ongoing growth of the nation's thriving aerospace industry," Beck said. 

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts thanked the staff working in Warkworth, saying their experience has been vital in the success of the league.  

"They're among the best in the business and we're delighted that their skills, expertise and experience can remain in New Zealand for many years to come," Sir Russell said.

Founded in 2001 as Core Builders Composites, the Warkworth facility has in recent years been heavily focused on building and maintaining the cutting-edge F50 catamarans used in SailGP's global racing league. 

The company's new facility on the south coast of England is expected to be fully operational by April, 2024.