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MDA to buy Space Systems/Loral for US$875 million

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Space Systems/Loral, Inc. (SS/L) for US$875 million in a transaction that is immediately accretive.


Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, SS/L is the global market leading provider of commercial communications satellites, serving a global customer base. The acquisition transforms MDA into a major player in commercial communications and provides the Company with critical mass in the U.S. market.

“This is a game changing transaction for our Company,” said Daniel Friedmann, MDA’s president and CEO. “With one move, we are bringing together two market leaders to create a unique global communications and information company with a strong commercial focus. Post-acquisition, more than two-thirds of MDA’s total revenues will come from the commercial market.”

The transaction meets MDA’s long-term objective of gaining a stronger presence in the U.S. market. SS/L has a U.S.-based workforce of 3,200 highly skilled employees, and over one million square feet of state-of-the-art facilities. SS/L will continue to operate under its well-established brand and proven management team.

Following the acquisition, MDA will have combined annual revenues of $1.9 billion (calendar year 2011), and a combined backlog of $2.8 billion (March 31, 2012). The acquisition is also expected to provide global opportunities for future growth as MDA enters markets fuelled by some of today’s most compelling consumer communications needs.

“Space Systems/Loral’s business is fundamentally driven by the worldwide demand for television, digital audio, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and voice telephony,” said Friedmann. “Billions of people around the world depend on these services and demand continues to increase. By acquiring one of the major companies that enable these essential communications services, MDA will move immediately to the forefront of this growing business.”

SS/L has gained a strong market presence serving major commercial satellite operators and has been awarded more commercial satellite contracts worldwide than any other company since 2005 (Futron Satellite Orders Report). SS/L revenues for 2011 were US$1.1 billion, with pro-forma operating EBITDA of US$153 million. SS/L has a backlog of US$2 billion (March 31, 2012), providing good revenue visibility going forward.

“The combination of Space Systems/Loral’s world-class commercial communications expertise with MDA’s strengths in essential information solutions provides exciting opportunities for growth for the new company and continuous strong support to our current and future customers’ business,” said John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral.