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Iconic Space Technology Firm Returns To Canadian Control As Sale Of MDA To Northern Private Capital Closes

Aurora over northern Canada. Photo courtesy of ESA/NASA

Effective 8 April 2020, the sale transaction of MDA by Maxar Technologies to a consortium led by Toronto-based investment firm Northern Private Capital has officially closed. This marks the return of MDA to Canadian control as a private, independent company headquartered in Canada.

Founded in 1969, MDA is Canada’s largest space technology developer and manufacturer, with over 1,900 employees across the country. Through a strong collaboration and partnership with the Government of Canada that spans several decades, MDA has delivered world-leading, iconic technologies such as the Canadarm family of space robotics for the U.S. Space Shuttle program and the International Space Station and three generations of RADARSAT Earth observation satellites for the Canadian Government.

NPC, led by John Risley and Andrew Lapham, has appointed Mike Greenley as Chief Executive Officer of MDA. “I am very proud to lead MDA at such a pivotal moment in this great company’s history,” said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA. “It is inspiring to be associated with such eminent Canadian business leaders who share in a vision to turn MDA into a global powerhouse.”

“MDA is truly a made-in-Canada success story with global growth potential resulting from its industry- leading technologies across multiple segments of the growing space sector,” said John Risley. “We are excited to roll up our sleeves with MDA leadership to help shape its future evolution and expansion.”

As a stand-alone company, MDA is one of the largest independent suppliers of space components and systems in the world, enabling it to be a merchant supplier to international prime contractors and partner to governments around the globe who are investing in and growing their space programs.

“We are open for business,” added Greenley. “As a space company with a big Canadian flag on our backpack and decades of experience in the space sector building first-of-a-kind space systems, our ability to partner and collaborate will be unmatched.”

The NPC-led consortium has acquired all of MDA’s operations across Canada and the UK. The transaction value was CAD$1 billion (US$716 million) and was financed with a combination of equity and debt. Equity was provided by NPC and certain of its limited partners, as well as several leading investors including Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Jim Balsillie, Bulldog Capital Partners, Albion River, Nicola Wealth and Senvest Capital along with funds managed by Senvest Management. NPC was advised on the transaction by Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank. Scotiabank and Bank of Montreal also led the senior debt financing, and PointNorth Capital and Canso Investment Counsel provided the junior debt.

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