MDA closes DigitalGlobe acquisition, changes name to Maxar Technologies

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By Ted Liu

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA) has closed the acquisition of DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI) for an enterprise value of CDN $4.7 billion or US $3.6 billion

The merger creates the leading integrated commercial provider of satellites, imagery and geospatial solutions to commercial and government customers worldwide. The newly combined company will offer a broader set of space-based solutions, increased scale and a more diversified revenue base.

“Today is a very exciting day for our customers, partners, employees and shareholders,” said Howard L. Lance, president and chief executive officer of MDA. “Together, in partnership with the outstanding team at DigitalGlobe, our combined company will offer an unmatched suite of solutions, benefit from increased scale and a more diversified revenue base, and drive increased value by leveraging the sales channels of both companies. The combination of our strong, diversified core businesses will create expanded opportunities for team members and customers alike. I am very excited to get to work with the new leadership team to drive top and bottom line growth and future success.”

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. will become Maxar Technologies Ltd., and its U.S.-headquartered operating company, SSL MDA Holdings, Inc., will become Maxar Technologies Holdings Inc. The new Maxar Technologies launches a distinctive group of leading space brands, technologies and capabilities.

MDA will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “MDA.” The ticker symbol on both the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges will be changed next week to “MAXR” to reflect its new name as Maxar Technologies.

“Our new corporate name highlights the broader capabilities of the combined organization,” said Lance. “Maxar Technologies encompasses four of the leading commercial space technology brands—SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe and Radiant—and represents the expanded benefits and value we will offer to our customers, shareholders, partners and employees.” The Company plans to continue to use the individual business unit brands and will roll out the new corporate branding design elements by the end of 2017.”

Lance will lead the combined company as president and chief executive officer. Jeff Tarr, who led DigitalGlobe as president and chief executive officer of DigitalGlobe for the past six years, will leave the company.

  • William McCombe has been appointed CFO of Maxar Technologies.
  • Anil Wirasekara, CFO of MDA since 1994, will continue and serve as the senior financial executive, based in Canada. Wirasekara will continue to report to Lance, with a significant portfolio of executive responsibilities.
  • Timothy M. Hascall has been appointed COO. Hascall previously served as executive vice president responsible for the Imagery business unit at DigitalGlobe, including operations and customer experience.
  • Daniel L. Jablonsky has been appointed president of DigitalGlobe. Jablonsky previously served as general manager of the U.S. and International Defense and Intelligence businesses at DigitalGlobe, as well as serving as its senior vice president and general counsel.
  • Dr. Walter S. Scott has been appointed chief technology officer for Maxar Technologies. Dr. Scott formed DigitalGlobe in 1992 as WorldView Imaging Corporation, the first company to receive a high-resolution commercial remote sensing license from the U.S. Government, and will continue to lead DigitalGlobe’s Platform business while taking on expanded responsibilities for the Company.
  • Tony Frazier has been appointed president of Radiant Solutions. Frazier previously served as senior vice president of Services at DigitalGlobe.
  • Don Schaefer, who previously served as president of MDA Information Systems, has been appointed chief strategy officer of Radiant Solutions.

Three members of the DigitalGlobe Board of Directors, Howell M. Estes III, Roger Mason, Jr. and Nick S. Cyprus, have been appointed to the MDA Board of Directors.

photo credit: MDA