MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) — parent company of Space Systems Loral — and DigitalGlobe have entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which 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 C$3.1bn (US$2.4bn), and an enterprise value of C$4.7bn, including assumption of DigitalGlobe’s C$1.6bn (US$1.2bn) 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. Howard L. Lance — president and CEO of MDA and future leader of the combined company — said that DigitalGlobe would operate as a stand-alone division under SSL MDA Holdings, in the same way as SSL and MDA’s Canadian businesses.
The DigitalGlobe name, brand and headquarters in Westminster will be maintained. In addition, three of DigitalGlobe’s current directors will be appointed to the MDA Board of Directors. The combined company will have approximately 4,600 employees in the United States and will continue to employ more than 1,800 in Canada.
The combination will bring together complementary space-related capabilities, creating a company offering complete, end-to-end space systems, earth imagery and geospatial solutions. Capabilities of the combined entity will include communications and Earth observation satellites and robotics, ground stations, integrated electro-optical and radar imagery, and advanced data analytics.
The combined company will also be a major player in cloud-based information services that allow commercial and government customers worldwide to better understand activity across the planet.