(Robotic) Arm's Length Deal?


The Big Picture:

Debt-swamped Maxar Technologies is unloading its Canadian subsidiary MDA--which makes RadarSat satellites and space robotic arms--to a consortium of firms led by a Toronto-based investment firm for $765 million USD. The deal is subject to review by Canadian and U.S. regulatory authorities.


What's up?

As of last fall, Maxar was swamped with $3.1 billion in debt. It needs some leverage as it competes for Canada's Telesat LEO $3.1 billion contract to manufacture about 300 small broadband satellites to be placed in a constellation in low earth orbit. Telesat will choose a manufacturer sometime this year.


Maxar intends to use MDA as a supplier of antennas and spacecraft components if it wins the manufacturing contract and will retain the right to sell Radarsat-2 data to the U.S. government.