20 Dec 19. American Aerospace Acquires PAE ISR Assets. American Aerospace Technologies, Inc. (AATI) announced that it has acquired the assets of PAE ISR LLC, including the Resolute Eagle, a Group 3 unmanned aircraft system. The acquisition was financed by Riva Ridge Capital Management.
AATI is an industry leading provider of airborne intelligence and communications systems for oil & gas and other critical infrastructure operators. The acquisition, a result of PAE’s planned divestiture of its original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business, expands AATI’s offerings in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) market.
“With the acquisition of PAE ISR’s assets, we are extending the product depth and customer penetration of AATI. The widely recognized capabilities and proficiency of the Resolute Eagle is a natural fit with our existing portfolio,” said David Yoel, founder and chief executive officer of AATI. “We see enormous potential for Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) UAS in critical infrastructure applications. As we enter the era of unmanned commercial aviation, this acquisition gives us an expanded presence in the rapidly accelerating BVLOS UAS market.”
Designed for reliable landing and recovery without a runway, the Resolute Eagle is one airframe that has two configurations: conventional takeoff and landing, and a hybrid vertical takeoff and landing alternative. Both are designed to operate from small areas in difficult terrain and are expected to enable a wide-range of applications, including in the midstream and upstream oil & gas, telecom and emergency response markets, among others.
AATI is also the OEM of the InstiMaps Automated Threat Detection System, a cloud-connected multispectral sensor solution with onboard AI that has been integrated with the Resolute Eagle. InstiMaps offers business and government enterprise customers an end-to-end solution that delivers critical imagery through a cloud-based intelligence gateway to end users across an enterprise in near real-time. (Source: UAS VISION)
20 Dec 19. AIM-listed electronics manufacturer Filtronic has agreed a deal to sell its telecoms antenna operations to a Swedish group for more than £4m. The sale to Microdata Telecom Innovation Stockholm is set to complete on 2 January 2020 for an initial cash consideration of $5.5m (£4.2m).
The deal includes a potential deferred consideration, with Filtronic taking an equal share of gross profit that outperforms the mutually agreed gross profit targets of $2m and $3.0m for the telecoms antenna operation over the next two calendar years, respectively.
Included in the transaction is the entire share capital of Filtronic Wireless AB in Sweden and certain antenna manufacturing assets held by a Chinese subsidiary.
Net assets held for sale at 31 May 2019 were £2.8m, while the operating loss before exceptional items in the year ending 31 May 2019 was £1.9m
Filtronic announced its intention to sell its telecoms antenna operations in September 2019 following a strategic review.
The proceeds from the deal will be used to further develop and grow the company’s continuing businesses, comprising 5G / X-Haul, public safety communications and defence and aerospace.
Reg Gott, executive chairman, said: “I am delighted to confirm that we have signed an agreement with Microdata Telecom to purchase our telecoms antenna operations. The sale strengthens our balance sheet, simplifies our business, and enables us to focus on business activities that better suit our core strengths.
“Microdata Telecom is an ambitious and rapidly growing company with a strong wireless telecoms pedigree. Being based in Taby, Sweden, it is well known to our Telecoms Antenna Operations and is an excellent destination for our staff, customers and products.”
Corporate finance advice to Filtronic was provided by EY’s North corporate finance team based in its Manchester office, led by Mark Clephan and Louise Leung, supported by Stephen McGuinness and Mark Fruish.
Legal advice in the UK was provided by Pinsent Masons (led by Rob Hutchings) and in Sweden by Roschier (led by Christoffer Benninge).
Filtronic is headquartered near Leeds and has a broadband division in Sedgefield in Durham. (Source: Google/https://www.insidermedia.com/news/yorkshire)
18 Dec 19. Leidos’ acquisition of Dynetics has a future technology focus. The announcement late Tuesday that services giant Leidos will procure defense technology firm Dynetics for $1.65bn gives Leidos a boost in a number of future technologies sought by the Pentagon, and it could help it stand out among competitors. Leidos, ranked as the 21st largest defense contractor in the world according to the Defense News Top 100 list, grew its business in recent years by focusing on core competencies in the government services area. In contrast, Dynetics is a product-focused company. But Byron Callan, an analyst with Capitol Alpha Partners, said in a note to investors that the deal “continues a trend of blurring of business lines by services-focused defense contractors who are moving more into product segments.”
“Leidos is not a stranger here, given its work on the DARPA Sea Hunter autonomous naval vessel on simulation products,” Callan wrote, referring to the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. “While Leidos is still going to be dominated by services, the Dynetics deal adds it as a competitor to Lockheed Martin, L3Harris, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon Technologies.”
Leidos plans to keep Dynetics as a wholly owned subsidiary, which should both smooth the transition and make sure current programs and partnerships are not interrupted.
In a statement, Leidos Chairman and CEO Roger Krone called Dynetics an “ innovative company” that “will significantly increase our capabilities for rapid prototyping and agile system integration and production, enhancing our overall offerings and services to customers.” He specifically called out hypersonics, space solutions, autonomy and advanced sensors as four areas where Dynetics will enhance Leidos’ portfolio.
In recent years, Dynetics carved out a strong niche as a developer of future defense technologies, particularly with the U.S. Army. The service selected the firm in August to be the first to manufacture hypersonic glide body prototypes for the department, in a team-up with Lockheed. Earlier this year, a team-up of the two firms also was awarded an Army contract to build a 100-kilowatt laser weapon.
In November 2018, Dynetics was awarded a contract to produce two experimental satellites under the Army’s Gunsmoke program. And in April 2018, the firm was awarded a contract through DARPA for the Gremlins recoverable unmanned systems project.
That Dynetics is located in Huntsville, Alabama, one of the major hubs for space-related military efforts, may also help Leidos grow its practice in the space and missile systems sector, or at least help attract top talent, wrote Callan, who noted that the overall deal is “more about future sales growth opportunities and posture rather than cost synergies.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
18 Dec 19. FDH Acquires BTC Electronic Components. Acquisition Bolsters Leadership in High-Performance Electrical Connectors. FDH, a portfolio company of Audax Private Equity (“Audax”), announced today that it has acquired BTC Electronic Components (“BTC”), a Wake Forest, NC based specialty distributor of high-performance connectors and accessories focused on aerospace, military and industrial end markets. BTC provides a complimentary product offering to FDH’s and further expands the business into the electronic connectors space.
Scott Tucker, CEO of FDH, said “Paul and the BTC team have built an outstanding business, on a foundation started and nurtured over 32 years by Bob Barnett, and we are excited for them to join the FDH family. Their strong OEM business provides a strong position in the electrical connectors space.”
Paul Moseley, CEO of BTC, said “This partnership with FDH represents the next step in the BTC journey. By leveraging our combined resources, we will look to meaningfully accelerate the growth of our business while continuing to provide high quality service to our customers.”
Bob Barnett, Founder, said “I am very pleased that Paul and the BTC family are joining FDH and believe that the combined businesses will bring greater value to our customers, suppliers and associates.”
BTC is FDH’s sixth acquisition, and fourth completed since Audax invested in the company in 2017.
FDH is a leading distributor of c-class hardware and replacement parts to commercial and defense aircraft manufacturers, subcontractors, component distributors, and MRO/aftermarket solution providers. FDH is headquartered in El Segundo, CA and has operations across North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.fdhaero.com.
ABOUT AUDAX PRIVATE EQUITY
Audax Group is a leading alternative investment manager with offices in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Since its founding in 1999, the firm has raised over $26bn in capital across its Private Equity and Private Debt businesses. Audax Private Equity has invested over $5bn in more than 130 platforms and 800 add-on companies, and is currently investing out of its $3.5bn, sixth private equity fund. Through its disciplined Buy & Build approach, Audax seeks to help platform companies execute add-on acquisitions that fuel revenue growth, optimize operations, and significantly increase equity value. With more than 250 employees and over 100 investment professionals, the firm is a leading capital partner for North American middle market companies. For more information, visit the Audax Group website www.audaxgroup.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Dec 19. SCISYS announced that, further to the announcement dated 17 December that the High Court had sanctioned the Scheme of Arrangement, the Court Order, together with the minute confirming the capital reduction necessary to implement the Scheme, has now been delivered to the Registrar of Companies in Ireland and, accordingly, the recommended acquisition of SCISYS by Bidco has now become effective in accordance with its terms.
Scheme Shareholders are entitled to receive 254.15 pence for every Scheme Share held. Despatch of cheques and crediting of CREST accounts for Consideration due under the Scheme will occur by no later than 14 days from this announcement, in accordance with the terms of the Scheme.
Trading of SCISYS Shares on AIM and Euronext Growth has been suspended from 7:30 a.m. (London time) today and the cancellation of admission to trading of SCISYS Shares on AIM and Euronext Growth will take effect at 7.00 a.m. (London time) on 19 December 2019.
Commenting on the completion of the acquisition, Mike Love, Chairman of SCISYS, said “With the completion of the acquisition of SCISYS by CGI the current directors of SCISYS will be resigning and will be replaced by new directors appointed by CGI. This marks the end of a 40-year epoch during which SCISYS traded as an independent company. Its growth and success over this period has been entirely due to the collective efforts of many individuals. It has been an honour and pleasure to work alongside so many talented individuals during this period. I and all my board colleagues wish to thank each and every one, past and present, in the SCISYS team for their many contributions. We wish the current team and CGI every success going forward.”
18 Dec 19. Leidos signs deal to acquire Dynetics for $1.65bn. Leidos has signed an agreement to buy Dynetics for $1.65bn to acquire new capabilities in growth areas such as hypersonics, weapons, and space technologies.
The acquisition is expected to add product offerings to Leidos’ portfolio and bring new opportunities to support the growth of the company’s innovations centre research and development division.
Based in Huntsville, Alabama, US, Dynetics is an applied science and information technology company that serves the Pentagon, Nasa and other customers in the intelligence community.
Leidos is eyeing growth opportunities in small glide munitions, directed energy, and hypersonics segments that the transaction will present. The programmes will boost the company’s defence portfolio.
The transaction will also expand Leidos’ capabilities in agile manufacturing, rapid prototyping and systems integration.
The company hopes to leverage Dynetics’ expertise in developing prototypes for defence systems such as air vehicles, radars, weapons, counter-unmanned aircraft systems (c-UAS).
Another key feature of the proposed deal is the more than 350,000ft² of production space Leidos will acquire from Dynetics. The facility will allow the firm to pursue the development of innovations from concept stage to production.
Other benefits of the transaction include expansion of the company’s presence in Huntsville and extending relationships with the US Army, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office.
Leidos chairman and CEO Roger Krone said: “Dynetics is an innovative company with a talented team that will deepen our identity as a national security systems provider and enhance our platform to deliver sustainable, profitable growth.
“The addition of Dynetics will significantly increase our capabilities for rapid prototyping and agile system integration and production, enhancing our overall offerings and services to customers.”
Subject to closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.
In September, Dynetics was contracted by the US Army to produce Common-Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) prototypes.
The company is also supporting the army’s High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator (HEL TVD) programme. (Source: army-technology.com)
17 Dec 19. AEGIX Global Acquires Legendary Suppressor Manufacturer AMTAC. AMTAC acquisition brings AEGIX safety equipment to better serve law enforcement and military customers. AEGIX Global, LLC today announced it has acquired AMTAC, one of the most respected firearm suppressor manufacturers in the world. The deal will positively impact the market with on-hand inventory and rapid order fulfillment, providing law enforcement, military and hunting/outdoors retail clients with a better buying experience of state-of-the-art suppressors. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“AMTAC has a solid history and a rich legacy of designing and manufacturing world-class suppressors,” said Chet Linton, CEO of AEGIX Global. “We were attracted to the company by its reputation for quality and innovation, which can be seen in a patented over-barrel design that delivers a number of unique benefits. This deal creates the opportunity for AEGIX to expand our selection of safety equipment for law enforcement and military as well as retail clients while raising the bar for the whole industry in terms of customer service. It also furthers our mission to help safeguard and improve the lives of those who are dedicated to serving and protecting us.”
Hearing loss and tinnitus from noise exposure are the top two most prevalent service-connected disabilities, according to the 2018 Annual Benefits Report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. AMTAC Suppressors are specifically designed to reduce the noise of firearms from hazardous to safe decibel levels.
Linton said the AMTAC line will always be made in the USA with the highest quality materials and machined to exacting tolerances and military specifications. To increase efficiency, AEGIX will leverage a highly experienced manufacturing partner that is fully FFL and SOT licensed to manufacture NFA weapons. They have advanced automated capabilities and are well capitalized to manage growth. This will enable AEGIX to not only easily meet increased volume demands, but also to have inventory on hand to fulfill orders within 72 hours.
AEGIX proudly supports and maintains the AMTAC lifetime warranty. To see the full line of suppressors including the Mantis Series, CQB (the flagship over-barrel suppressor), CQBM, SBR, SNIPER, Hornet and Fire Ant, please visit www.amtacsuppressors.com.
About AEGIX Global, LLC
AEGIX is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is focused on making a positive global impact by providing mission-specific resources, leading technology, equipment and practical and tactical training to those who are first on scene, in combat or gathering intelligence. These resources, products and services result in safeguarding lives, enabling justice and improving communities. AEGIX serves local, tribal, state and federal law enforcement departments and agencies, humanitarian groups, militaries, NATO and Major non-NATO allied governments worldwide. For more, please visit www.aegixglobal.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Dec 19. Cronus Partners Announces Sale of Evolution Aero. Cronus Partners LLC is pleased to announce that it acted as financial advisor to Evolution Aero, LLC, a world-class manufacturer of parts and assemblies for the aerospace and power generation industries, in the sale of substantially all the assets of EvoAero, Inc. in Windsor CT and Condor Industries, LLC in Fort Lauderdale FL to Whitcraft Group, an Eastford CT-based aeroparts manufacturer.
Charles Agreda, President of Evolution Aero, commented, “The sale of my businesses leaves a legacy that was built with the support of loyal and dedicated employees, fellow business owners, suppliers, and friends who have partnered with us to manufacture the toughest components to support our customer demands. The new owners are highly respected within the aerospace industry, and the companies have many business synergies to foster growth. I want to thank Cronus for its tireless efforts in bringing the transaction to fruition.“
Jeffrey Rubin, Managing Partner at Cronus, added, “The transaction significantly increases the production capacity of the combined companies and expands Whitcraft’s reach outside of aerospace into the power generation industry. Cronus is pleased to have been a part of the team achieving this successful combination and to have had the opportunity to bring our expertise to bear.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Dec 19. Megamerger of Korean shipbuilder rivals draws EU scrutiny. Brussels opens in-depth investigation into Hyundai Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding merger. Brussels has opened an in-depth investigation into the merger of two major South Korean shipbuilders, following in the footsteps of antitrust regulators in Singapore. The European Commission is concerned that the tie-up between Hyundai Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding “may reduce competition in various global cargo shipbuilding markets”, according to a statement. “The transaction may therefore significantly reduce competition in the market for cargo shipbuilding, which could lead to higher prices, less choice and reduced incentives to innovate,” the statement added. Both companies have more than 50 per cent of the world’s order book for profitable liquefied natural gas carriers.
Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner, said: “Maritime transport represents a substantial portion of the EU’s internal and external freight trade, with European shipping companies regularly purchasing vessels from . . . two of the leading cargo shipbuilders in the world. “This is why we will carefully assess whether the proposed transaction would negatively affect competition in the construction of cargo ships, to the detriment of European consumers.” Regulators have until May 7 2020 to make a decision. Maritime transport represents about 30 per cent of the EU’s internal freight trade and 90 per cent of the bloc’s external freight trade, according to official figures. Following its preliminary market investigation, regulators are concerned that the proposed merger may remove Daewoo as an important competitive force in key markets, including those for large containerships, oil tankers, and liquefied natural gas. Regulators also are worried that customers would not have sufficient bargaining power to constrain the companies if they merged. “The Commission has also identified high barriers to entry in these markets, residing mainly in the knowhow, track-record, and in some cases in mastering the relevant technology,” the European Commission said in a statement. (Source: FT.com)
13 Dec 19. PrecisionHawk Raises $32m for Expansion. PrecisionHawk, Inc., a provider of drone technology for the enterprise, announced a $32m investment from venture investors including Millennium Technology Value Partners, Third Point Ventures, Eastward Capital Partners, and others.
The financing will fuel continued innovation in PrecisionHawk’s software tool, PrecisionAnalytics that uses artificial intelligence/machine learning, to help enterprises better utilize data collected by drones to solve business challenges. The financing will also accelerate sales initiatives and further market expansion.
“This is an exciting time at PrecisionHawk and the commercial drone industry overall as adoption of drones continues to grow at exceptional rates,” said Michael Chasen, CEO of PrecisionHawk. “Our unique software and services deliver incredible value to our customers, equipping them with the highest level of aerial intelligence to meet their current and future asset management and operating needs. We are pleased with this latest round of funding which will help us better address this surging demand, particularly in the energy and agriculture markets, and lead us into sustained profitability and growth.”
Some of the world’s largest organizations, including five of the top 10 utility companies, the largest provider of communications infrastructure in the United States and the “Big Six” providers of seed and agricultural chemicals, rely on PrecisionHawk to help them apply innovative drone hardware, software and services to address critical business challenges. From managing asset inventory to measuring the health of telecommunications towers, electricity distribution lines or even crops, PrecisionHawk’s drone-based solution delivers a flexible and cost-effective path to inspect and manage valuable assets.
The commercial drone industry has grown faster than anticipated and the FAA forecasts that it could triple between now and 2023, with an estimated 823,000 drones flying by that time. With this new funding, PrecisionHawk is well positioned to support the next phase of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) deployments, driven by the need for improved technology that can ensure quality and consistent data collection, maintain safe operations within the United States’ existing national airspace system, and organize and process drone data to make it consumable, valuable and actionable.
“We are excited to continue our support of PrecisionHawk during this next phase of its growth. The feedback from customers has been very promising and we believe PrecisionHawk is well positioned to capitalize on the huge market opportunity ahead of it,” said Sam Schwerin, co-founder and Managing Partner of Millennium Technology Value Partners. “PrecisionHawk’s powerful PrecisionAnalytics software applies the latest generation of artificial intelligence to aerial data unlocking the data’s potential to accelerate and optimize work for the enterprise.”
Since its founding in 2010, PrecisionHawk has led policy and technology development efforts to foster global adoption of commercial drone technology. Michael Chasen was recently appointed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao to serve as the Chairman for the Drone Advisory Committee (DAC), a group established by the FAA to advise on key challenges and opportunities for drones in United States airspace.
“Investments such as this one underscore the tremendous potential of the UAS industry to deliver new applications and services across business sectors,” said Brian Wynne, President and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). “The demand for UAS technology is remarkable and demonstrates the great confidence investors have in a solid and growing market for years to come.”
PrecisionHawk will continue to lead the way, assisting regulators and encouraging industry participants to adopt innovative policies and technologies that can support not only today’s drone use cases, but those of tomorrow. (Source: UAS VISION)
16 Dec 19. Chemring (CHG) said that its full-year performance sat “slightly ahead of our initial expectations”, which was driven by a good year for its Sensors & Information segment, where revenues grew by 51 per cent to £131.9m. Chemring’s other segment, Countermeasures & Energetics, experienced a revenue decline of 3 per cent to £203.3m. (Source: Investors Chronicle)
- Overall performance slightly ahead of our initial expectations, reflecting strong Sensors & Information sector performance.
- Safety remains our key priority and, together with enhancing operational stability and efficiency, is driving investment in the Group’s manufacturing infrastructure.
- Completed sale of Chemring Military Products and Chemring Defence and closure of Chemring Prime Contracts. Announced sale of Chemring Ordnance on 21 November 2019.
- Australian subsidiary, offline for the majority of the year to enable changeover to F-35 countermeasure manufacturing, received two significant contracts, as previously announced.
- Continued progress on various US Programs of Record. Further delivery orders received under the HMDS IDIQ; successful critical design review on AVCAD led to a further 75 unit order.
- Strong order intake in Countermeasures & Energetics resulted in a Group order book for the continuing business at year end of £449m (2018: £394m), £287m currently due as revenue in FY20, approximately 76% coverage of FY20 targeted revenue.
- Net debt decreased year on year, reflecting strong operating cash generation offset by the start of investment in the Tennessee facility. Net debt: EBITDA fell to 1.24x (2018: 1.64x).
- Board recommending a final dividend of 2.4p per ordinary share, giving a total dividend of 3.6p per ordinary share (2018: 3.3p).
- Board’s expectations for FY20 trading performance remain unchanged, with the usual seasonal H2 weighting.
Michael Ord, Group Chief Executive, commented: “It has been an exceptionally busy year in which we continued to deliver our current mission of building a stronger business. We have implemented significant changes to improve safety, strengthen leadership and corporate governance, and embed continuous improvement across the Group. We have also changed the structure of the business and the way in which we operate. In doing so we are improving the quality of the business and redefining our purpose. Collectively we are changing the culture of Chemring to one of close collaboration, responsible behaviour and belief in our core values of Safety, Excellence and Innovation.
With a number of significant operational and strategic milestones achieved this year we have made real progress; moving away from commoditised product lines to focus on higher quality, sustainable business areas where we have a competitive advantage.
As we continue to develop, over time our focus will move to strategic opportunities that further enhance the Group’s growth potential and the delivery of positive returns for all our stakeholders.”
* All profit and earnings per share figures in this news release relate to underlying business performance (as defined below) unless otherwise stated.
The principal Alternative Performance Measures (“APMs”) presented are the underlying measures of earnings which exclude discontinued operations, exceptional items, gain or loss on the movement on the fair value of derivative financial instruments, the amortisation of acquired intangibles and the associated tax impact on these items. The Directors believe that these APMs improve the comparability of information between reporting periods as well as reflect the key performance indicators used within the business to measure performance. The term underlying is not defined under IFRS and may not be comparable with similarly titled measures used by other companies.
The adjustments to continuing operations comprise:
- amortisation of acquired intangibles of £12.1m (2018: £11.6m)
- loss on the movement in the fair value of derivative financial instruments of £0.6m (2018: £0.4m)
- tax impact on adjustments of £4.3m credit (2018: £13.1m charge)
The discontinued operations loss after tax comprises:
- operating loss of £3.5m (2018: £8.0m profit)
- exceptional items of £1.0m (2018: £72.0m)
- loss on disposal of a subsidiary of £2.8m (2018: £nil)
- tax credit on the above of £6.1m (2018: £1.0m charge)
Further details are provided in notes 3 and 4.
EBITDA is defined as profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. Reference to constant currency relates to the re-translation of FY19 financial information at the FY18 exchange rates to reflect the movement excluding the impact of foreign exchange. (Source: Chemring)
11 Dec 19. Inmarsat Launches Fleet LTE and Delists from the London Stock Exchange. Inmarsat will extend its service portfolio for customers with the launch of Fleet LTE, following an agreement with subsea fiber and offshore LTE network operator Tampnet.
The new service leverages low latency, high data speed communications available via a dedicated Access Point Name (APN) on the Tampnet North Sea LTE network. Primarily aimed at offshore support vessel operators, Fleet LTE could also be used by fishing and ferry service sectors, and has the potential to be extended to other regions, such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Customers will be able to access high speed 4G and Fleet Xpress VSAT Ka-band and continuous L-band connectivity within a single, fully managed hybrid package. The unique ‘three-in-one’ offer delivers 4G, VSAT Ka-band and L-band without the complication of dual billing or the risk of connectivity drop-off.
Agreeing its own APN means Inmarsat can guarantee customers access to LTE services enabled via Tampnet’s 3,000km subsea fibre network.
Inmarsat Fleet LTE is available in a range of service bands that deliver data speeds of up to 40 Mbps with Round Trip Delay of around 35 to 40 ms. However, when LTE is not available, services automatically switch over to Ka-band Fleet Xpress committed information rates, with continuous back-up from L-band FleetBroadband. Meanwhile, connectivity via FleetBroadband continues even outside the LTE coverage area. Fully automated
Service transition between LTE and VSAT is fully automated, with routing depending on data needs and network conditions, while vessels only need to add two LTE antennas and a modem on deck to enable the upgrade, which can be rented or purchased.
Inmarsat Fleet LTE also comes without hidden costs and offers owners plan flexibility to support business demand from third parties. Owners can choose from various LTE plans up to 40 Mbps, upgrade and downgrade between packages without additional fees, and choose separated dedicated bandwidth plans for charterers.
Tampnet CEO Per Helge Svensson said Inmarsat is a leader in a market that has significant untapped potential for Tampnet’s premium LTE services and the company is really pleased to add such a great company to the firm’s list of partners. Inmarsat provides services to large fleets of offshore vessels that fall in our LTE network footprint. The North Sea is a natural starting point but we are also keen to explore how we can work with Inmarsat in other regions where Tampnet is present, such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Eric Griffin, VPnt, Offshore and Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime added that as demand for data continues to grow – especially in the realm of high stakes decision-making where real time action is needed, such as for remotely operated vehicles or securing details on seabed conditions – low latency LTE bandwidth and satellite connectivity play crucial roles. Being able to exploit business-critical decision-making tools helps operators to cut non-productive operational time. As a service provider also offering failsafe connectivity via L-band for reasons of maritime safety, guaranteeing resiliency and performance whether vessels are on station or moving to/from shore are first principles for Inmarsat.
Also of note is that Inmarsat delisted the firm from the London Stock Exchange on December 5. This follows the buyout by Connect Bidco of the company for $3.3bn, a move that was fully approved by the High Court of Justice in England and Wales as well as 79 percent of Inmarsat’s shareholders and was the final step for this business acquisition to be finalized. (Source: Satnews)
11 Dec 19. Maxar Completes Palo Alto Real Estate Sale for $291m. Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR) (the “Company”) has now closed the Company’s previously-announced, Palo Alto, California, real estate sale and leaseback agreements for a gross sale price of $291m.
The Company will use the proceeds from the real estate sale and the senior secured notes offering (upon release from escrow) to repay all of the borrowings that were outstanding as of September 30, 2019, under the Company’s revolving credit facility, and term loans A-1 and A-2, each under the Company’s Syndicated Credit Facility, and to pay certain fees and expenses related to the offering of the senior secured notes, the use of proceeds therefrom and the previously announced amendment of the Company’s Syndicated Credit Facility.
The Syndicated Credit Facility amendment becomes unconditional concurrent with consummation of the foregoing transactions and delivery of certain other documentary conditions precedent.
The operations of DigitalGlobe, SSL and Radiant Solutions were unified under the Maxar brand in February; MDA continues to operate as an independent business unit within the Maxar organization. (Source: Satnews)
12 Dec 19. Airbus acquires Seattle-area’s MTM Robotics. Deal advances Airbus’ commitment to continued automation of its manufacturing line. Airbus has acquired industrial automation company, MTM Robotics, for an undisclosed sum. The move deepens Airbus’ commitment to expanding advanced robotics capabilities within its manufacturing processes. The MTM business will retain its current leadership and 40-person staff, as well as its facility in Mukilteo, Washington, near Seattle.
“We are pleased and excited to become a part of the Airbus family and look forward to further integrating our products and approaches into the Airbus industrialization chain, “said MTM founder, Mike Woogerd.
The acquisition is the latest chapter in a trusted, ten-year-plus relationship between the companies, with multiple MTM light automated robotics systems currently in use at Airbus manufacturing facilities. While MTM will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus Americas, Inc., headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, it will continue to serve other customers in the aerospace industry. Since 2003, MTM has deployed more than 40 aerospace manufacturing systems comprised of machines, tools, machine software, enterprise software and support throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The acquisition marks the latest step for Airbus in its industrialization roadmap, aimed at leveraging the time- and cost-saving benefits associated with using robotics in the manufacture and assembly of its commercial aircraft.
“The competitiveness of tomorrow will be determined by both designing the best aircraft and by building the most efficient manufacturing system, in parallel,“ said Michael Schoellhorn, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.“ Automation & robotics are central to our industrial strategy. We are very happy to welcome MTM Robotics as a family member and take a step forward on this exciting endeavour together.”
“MTM perfectly fits Airbus’ ambition for engineering and innovative manufacturing solutions while maintaining agility,” explained Patrick Vigié, Head of Industrial Technologies at Airbus.
“Airbus and MTM Robotics each believe that tomorrow’s automation in aircraft manufacturing can and must be lighter, more portable and less capital intensive,” explained Vigié. “By joining our efforts and skills, we are well positioned to establish industrywide standards for the factory of tomorrow, “he said. (Source: ASD Network)
14 Dec 19. Vector files for bankruptcy, says Lockheed Martin seeks to buy assets. Sequoia Capital-backed Vector Launch Inc filed for bankruptcy on Friday and said in court filings that Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) plans to purchase its satellite technology assets and give it a $2.5m loan so it can continue to operate. In the filings in a Delaware court, Vector said the U.S. aerospace and defense company plans to buy its GalacticSky-related assets, used for the development of tiny, high-tech satellites, for $4.25m. Lockheed’s initial offer will serve as the floor for higher bids in a bankruptcy court auction, according to the filings. A U.S. bankruptcy court judge would have to approve any sale. Representatives for Vector and Lockheed did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Vector said in one of the filings that it was Sequoia’s “abrupt and unexplained withdrawal of support” earlier this year that made it impossible to raise new capital that would have allowed it to stave off bankruptcy.
A Sequoia spokesperson responded by saying Vector had “failed to meet strategic objectives and financial projections” that it had outlined.
“We ultimately made the decision to part ways with the company based on its inability to achieve its proposed plans,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. (Source: Reuters)