Spaceflight Insider

DigitalGlobe Acquired by MDA

DigitalGlobe logo

DigitalGlobe company logo. Image Credit: DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe, a satellite imagery company based in Westminster, Colorado, and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) – a Canadian radar, telecommunications, and imagery corporation – will merge into one company later in 2017.

MDA tendered an offer that will give current shareholders of DigitalGlobe stock one-third of a share of MDA and $17.50 in cash for each share of DigitalGlobe stock. The total deal value is $2.4 billion. Additionally, MDA will acquire $1.2 billion of DigitalGlobe debt, bringing the total value of the deal to $3.6 billion. The deal has the approval of the boards of each company and is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

DigitalGlobe’s headquarters will remain in Westminster, and plans are to add more employees to its existing 2,000 employees, which over 500 of them are currently in the Westminster headquarters.

Michelle Hadwiger, deputy director of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said: “Their talent base will stay in Colorado, their headquarters will stay in Colorado. We anticipate that with the additional investment by a foreign firm, their investment will continue. […] It’s definitely a huge relief.”

In a statement about the acquisition, Jeffrey Tarr, president and chief executive of DigitalGlobe, said: “Following a thorough review of strategic alternatives, we believe that joining forces with MDA will enable us to deliver more value to our customers, expand opportunities for our team members and maximize value for shareowners.”

Current technological expertise at MDAs subsidiary Space Systems/Loral (SSL), supports consumer satellite companies such as DirecTV and SiriusXM radio. In addition, they supply radar-based imaging gathering for surveillance purposes. Adding DigitalGlobe’s optical imaging to its portfolio will allow MDA to provide better surveillance and imaging systems to its customers.

WorldView-4 first image

Tokyo WV4 first image

Tokyo WV4 first image. Photo Credit: DigitalGlobe

WorldView-4s first public image, taken on November 26, features the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Shibuya, Tokyo. The site hosted events during the 1964 Olympic Games and will again host international competition when the games return to Tokyo in 2020. DigitalGlobe currently operates what it calls its WorldView series of Earth observation satellites, which include the new WorldView 4 observatory along with the older WorldView-1, -2, and -3 satellites.

WorldView-4, built by Lockheed Martin, was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in November 2016 and was placed into service early in February after months of testing. Plans for the future call for what the company is calling its “WorldView Legion” fleet of satellites.

Designed to replace the WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 series of satellites, DigitalGlobe projects that the WorldView Legion fleet will more than double their current high-resolution capacity in certain regions. Details of how many spacecraft will make up the new fleet were not made available, but the first satellite is currently scheduled to launch in 2020.



Lloyd Campbell’s first interest in space began when he was a very young boy in the 1960s with NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs. That passion continued in the early 1970s with our continued exploration of our Moon, and was renewed by the Shuttle Program. Having attended the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its final two missions, STS-131, and STS-133, he began to do more social networking on space and that developed into writing more in-depth articles. Since then he’s attended the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, the agency’s new crew-rated Orion spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test 1, and multiple other uncrewed launches. In addition to writing, Lloyd has also been doing more photography of launches and aviation. He enjoys all aspects of space exploration, both human, and robotic, but his primary passions lie with human exploration and the vehicles, rockets, and other technologies that allow humanity to explore space.

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