MDA closes DigitalGlobe merger, rebrands as Maxar Technologies

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WASHINGTON — MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates completed its $2.4 billion purchase of DigitalGlobe Oct. 5, and will rebrand the combined company as Maxar Technologies.

Jeffrey Tarr, DigitalGlobe’s chief executive for the past six years, is stepping down, taking an advisory role until January. MDA Corp.’s president and chief executive Howard Lance will lead the newly created space hardware, imaging and geospatial giant.

Canada-based MDA and U.S.-based DigitalGlobe overcame an extended review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) after refiling merger paperwork in July. The interagency committee, which reviews potential national security risks from foreign buyers of American businesses, ultimately found no issue with the merger.

Maxar is dual listing today on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange as MDA, but will switch both to MAXR next week. The company said individual business units will continue with their own brands while the overall corporation is to fully embrace the Maxar name by year’s end.

“Our new corporate name highlights the broader capabilities of the combined organization,” Lance said in an Oct. 5 statement. “Maxar Technologies encompasses four of the leading commercial space technology brands—SSL, MDA, DigitalGlobe and Radiant—and represents the expanded benefits and value we will offer to our customers, shareholders, partners and employees.”

Maxar will continue to reorganize its combined assets as the company morphs from a Canadian entity to a U.S. incorporated company. Prior to the merger, MDA was already transitioning to an American company in order to compete for U.S. government space business. Maxar expects to be fully incorporated in the U.S. by the end of 2019.

Leadership from both DigitalGlobe and MDA comprise Maxar’s executive team. DigitalGlobe’s Timothy Hascall, executive vice president for imagery, has been appointed Maxar’s chief operations officer; Daniel Jablonsky is now DigitalGlobe’s president, and Walter Scott, founder of WorldView Imaging Corporation, which later became DigitalGlobe, will be Maxar’s chief technology officer. SSL’s William McCombe will serve as Maxar’s new chief financial officer.