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EADS Astrium Acquires SSTL
|16 января 2009|
A dynamic duo has evolved as the result of EADS Astrium's acquisition of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). This acquisition follows the approval of the EC in December 2008 and was announced by EADS CEO Louis Gallois at his January briefing for the media.
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited is the University of Surrey spin-out company that specializes in the design and manufacture of small satellites and subsystems.
“This is great news that we have acquired SSTL. The UK space industry is in a strong position at present — at Astrium we have a healthy order book and we are recruiting engineers, scientists and technicians to build telecommunication and scientific satellites. Acquiring SSTL means we will have a substantial complement to what we can offer customers around the world — SSTL has expertise in small satellites and an innovative approach to developing new markets for space.” said Colin Paynter, CEO of Astrium in the UK.
Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, said, “This acquisition is essential for SSTL, both in enabling our future plans and maintaining and expanding our R&D investment in competitive new technologies. Being part of Europe’s leading space company will considerably strengthen SSTL’s market position.”
SSTL joins EADS Astrium following a decision by the University of Surrey to sell its majority stake of 85 percent in the small satellite manufacturer. SSTL will remain an independent UK company with its individual brand and unique approach to space while benefiting from access to significant financial resources to support the company's growth. Astrium will benefit from enhanced links with the University of Surrey to support staff training and development, also leading to greater cooperation and increased research on space technology and systems.
SSTL has worked with small satellites developing innovative technologies, which have lowered the cost of operational space missions with real world applications, such as GIOVE-A, providing in-orbit validation for the Galileo program, and the RapidEye and DMC constellations providing commercial Earth observation services. The company has recently added a small geostationary platform to their product range as well as very high resolution imaging systems for small satellite applications.
EADS Astrium's expertise is in space transportation, spacecraft and satellite services including prime contractor for Ariane 5, the Columbus space laboratory and the Automated Transfer Vehicle for the International Space Station, and its leading-edge large and complex geostationary telecommunications satellites, and the Skynet 5 secure communications system for the UK Ministry of Defence. SSTL will complement Astrium UK’s existing space capabilities that include space transportation, satellites and services.
Under the share purchase agreement, SSTL will be owned by EADS Astrium NV in the Netherlands. The acquisition will enhance long-term research collaboration between the University of Surrey and Astrium and will further advance the University’s space research capacity. The sale will further support the presence that Guildford and the south-east have in the aeronautical and space industries.