MDA, DigitalGlobe refile US foreign investment review notice

Canada-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates and DigitalGlobe have restarted one phase of their efforts to seek regulatory approval for their combination that brings together two of the world's largest space and satellite companies.

Both companies withdrew and re-filed their joint voluntary notice on the transaction to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. that gives the agency a new 30-day review period upon acceptance of the new filing. CIFUS is an inter-agency committee that reviews the impacts of foreign investments into U.S. businesses on national security.

CFIUS holds oversight over the proposed deal as MDA's corporate headquarters are in the Vancouver, Canada region. MDA is transforming itself into a U.S. business with full eligibility for government space contracts and created a San Francisco-based holding company called SSL MDA Holdings last year as the operating entity for all businesses in both countries.

MDA first announced its $2.4 billion acquisition of Westminster, Colo.-based DigitalGlobe in February that also sees the buyer assume $1.2 billion in net debt. Post-close, DigitalGlobe will operate as a subsidiary of the SSL MDA Holdings entity alongside sister company Space Systems Loral, the Silicon Valley satellite maker MDA acquired for $875 million in 2012.

Upon closure, MDA expects its estimated pro forma annual revenue at $2 billion with one-quarter of sales in the U.S. government market. The combined entity will have about 6,400 employees with 1,200 of those coming DigitalGlobe.

MDA and DigitalGlobe expect to close the combination during the current calendar quarter or shortly thereafter. The timing is subject to the CFIUS review process and other customary closing conditions. Both companies have their respective shareholder meetings to vote on the deal for July 27.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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