Ross Wilkers

M&A

Post-Labor Day return coincides with three done transactions

Inevitably, we seem return to work after a long holiday weekend or start a new month with multiple merger-and-acquisition transactions that come across our desks.

The number for this day after Labor Day is three deals announced as completed, with one representing a divestiture by a major defense hardware company and the other two being equity investments in space technology companies.

Here is a summary of what we saw Tuesday (today).

 

ESSCO

What they do: Builds metal space frame ground enclosures air defense, weather radar, air traffic control, and satellite telemetry and tracking.

What is happening: Communications & Power Industries is acquiring that business from L3Harris Technologies for an undisclosed sum. Set to close before this year ends.

What the acquirer sees: CPI plans to combine its current line of airborne and ship-based enclosures with those of Essco to create larger products made from alternative materials.

What of the seller: L3Harris declared its post-merger portfolio shaping program as “largely complete” in an August earnings call, though they apparently had one more in the works as seen here.

 

GEOST

What they do: Design and integrate small-to-medium sized electro-optical/infrared sensors for national security space programs.

What is happening: Private equity firm ATL Partners has acquired majority ownership of GEOST to support that company’s next phase of growth. Terms were undisclosed.

More on the acquired: Founded in 2004 and makes payloads for space domain awareness; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; missile warning; and laser communication applications amid heightened emphasis on space architecture resilience.

Who helped in the deal: KippsDeSanto & Co. acted as financial adviser to ATL with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP the legal counsel. Quilty Analytics acted as financial adviser with Williams Mullen P.C. the legal counsel.

 

Orbit Fab

What they do: San Francisco-headquartered space industry startup that has designed a fluid transfer interface to refuel satellites while in orbit.

What is happening: Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have invested in Orbit Fab, which Defense News reported Tuesday wants to build a range of refueling tankers and fuel shuttles to prolong satellite lifespan.

What Orbit Fab sees: Demand by satellite operators and makers to spread out their capital costs, increase asset utilization and lifetime, and reduce the need to continuously launch more satellites in space.

What the investors see: If Orbit Fab’s vision comes to fruition, government customers would be able to carry out longer missions in space with replenished satellites and further adopt new business and acquisition models.

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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