Canadian Manufacturing

MDA acquires satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe in $4.7B deal

By acquiring the Westminster, Colo.-based imagery provider, MDA is continuing its U.S. Access Plan and expanding its footprint in the country



A satellite image of the 2013 Lac-Megantic, Quebec train derailment and oil spill, photographed by DigitalGlobe
PHOTO: DigitalGlobe

SAN FRANCISCO— Canadian satellite communications provider MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., and DigitalGlobe Inc., a Colorado-based commercial vendor of satellite imagery, announced Feb. 24 that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

Pursuant to this agreement, MDA will acquire DigitalGlobe for US$35.00 per share in a combination of cash and stock.

The transaction values DigitalGlobe at an equity value of approximately CAN$3.1 billion, and an enterprise value of $4.7 billion, including assumption of DigitalGlobe’s $1.6 billion in net debt.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

The combined company will leverage end-to-end space systems, earth imagery, geospatial solutions, earth observation satellites and robotics, ground stations, integrated electro-optical and radar imagery, and advanced data analytics. These capabilities will also be enhanced by cloud-based information services.

As part of the transaction, MDA will apply to list its shares on the NYSE in addition to the TSX.

The acquisition is a part of MDA’s U.S. Access Plan, which included the formation of a U.S. subsidiary in 2016 and a partnership with the U.S. government.

“By combining MDA and DigitalGlobe, we are significantly expanding our total addressable market by broadening both companies’ capabilities and facilitating future growth,” said Howard L. Lance, president and CEO of MDA.

“Following a thorough review of strategic alternatives, we believe that joining forces with MDA will enable us to deliver more value to our customers, expand opportunities for our team members and maximize value for shareowners,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, president and CEO of DigitalGlobe.

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