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Rocket Science Pays Off as Musk Rival Avio Surges After Listing

  • Italian company becomes first traded launcher manufacturer
  • CEO says move will boost ability to compete with Musk, Bezos
Photographer: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Italian rocket manufacturer Avio SpA surged on its trading debut in Milan after becoming the first space-launcher specialist to go public in a sector crowded with newcomers including Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Shares of Avio jumped 11 percent following the listing Monday, which came after a merger with investment vehicle Space2 SpA and marked the exit of private-equity funds led by Cinven Ltd., while doubling the stake held by Italian aerospace and defense group Leonardo SpA.