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NEWS: MDA exploring the sale of part or all of the company

The Toronto Star reports that, “MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates Ltd., the maker of the robotic arm used on NASA space shuttles, is exploring the sale of part or all of the company after private-equity firms and competitors expressed interest, said two people with knowledge of the matter. The (Richmond, BC-based) Canadian company, which also provides satellite imagery, will examine offers during the next several weeks…”

“A sale of space assets to a non-Canadian buyer would require the approval of the government, which blocked a 2008 attempt to sell the company’s satellite division. Bank of America Corp. is advising the company, according to the people. …The proposed 2008 sale of the aerospace division to Minneapolis-based Alliant Techsystems Inc. was particularly controversial because of MacDonald Dettwiler’s Canadarm and its exclusive distribution rights to Canada’s Radarsat earth observation satellites. The robotic arm, adorned with a Canadian flag in space and featured in school textbooks, was first used on shuttles in 1981. The rejection was the first ime the country had blocked a foreign takeover since at least 1985.”

To read our March 2008 action alert opposing the sale of MDA to Alliant, go to http://canadians.org/action/2008/07-Mar-08.html. The Toronto Star report is at http://www.thestar.com/business/article/878477–macdonald-dettwiler-weighing-sale-of-the-company.