The now fully “domesticated” American company Maxar Technologies inc. is to sell its legacy Canadian, business MDA (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, Ltd.). This is following an announcement made at the end of 2019. The intended recipients of the Canadian business are private investors lead by Toronto, Canada, based Northern Private Capital.

The transaction is valued at US$765 million (CAD$1 billion), which will be gratefully received by Maxar which aims to use it to tackle it high levels of debt. However, the deal will have to be approved by both American and Canadian regulators before it is able to be completed.

Corporate logo of Maxar Technologies Inc.


Comment by Matt Wilson: This is significant move for Maxar as MDA is perhaps the most significant of its founding pillars: MDA, SSL, DigitalGlobe and Radiant Solutions. Following MDA’s 2012 purchase of American satellite manufacturer SSL, the company set out to capture more of the large US-governmental market. To accomplish this the joint company began to transition itself from a Canadian company with a US subsidiary, to being an US company with a Canadian subsidiary. The company furthered its aim by purchasing Earth observation and well connected satellite operator, DigitalGlobe, in 2017. This brought about the creation of “Maxar Technologies” a joint American-Canadian company with a significant US presence coupled with its Canadian subsidiary.

The long-term goal of becoming an American company with easier access to the US-government market was finally achieved in January 2019.

Audacy is dead

In an article by Space News released at the start of the year, they revealed that the would-be satellite operator Audacy had in fact ceased trading during 2019. The company suffered serious financing issues after being unable to communicate with their test unit launched in December 2018. Despite prolonged fundraising efforts by its CEO, the company eventually defaulted on debts in the second-half of 2019 signalling the end of the company.