OHB Technology has purchased a 19 percent share of U.S.-based SpaceDev Inc. for $4.4 million in a transaction both space-hardware builders hope will increase their trans-Atlantic business, the two companies announced Sept. 19.

Bremen-based OHB Technology Chief Executive Marco Fuchs said OHB is not positioning itself for an eventual takeover of SpaceDev, but would like to use the partnership as a point of entry into the U.S. government and commercial space markets.

“We felt that the company was undervalued, giving us little risk in making this modest investment,” Fuchs said in a Sept. 21 interview. “SpaceDev’s new management team impressed us, and we think the company is well-positioned in a couple of U.S. markets that show promise. It’s hard to be present in the U.S. market unless you are an investor, and this was part of our decision.”

OHB’s investment was made together with its MT Aerospace subsidiary through the purchase of SpaceDev stock, which trades on the U.S. Over-the-Counter market. The stock has dropped more than 40 percent in the past year, presenting an opportunity for OHB, Fuchs said.

In a Sept. 19 statement, OHB said each company would profit from the other’s geographic location. “Future U.S. market penetration with OHB components and introducing SpaceDev products in the European aerospace marketplace will lead to significant new revenues, mutual manufacturing opportunities and will offer the collective use of technologies and expertise,” the OHB statement said.

Fuchs said that OHB’s 19 percent equity stake would make it Poway, Calif.-based SpaceDev’s second-largest shareholder after the family of SpaceDev founder Jim Benson, who was chairman of the company until September 2006, when Mark N. Sirangelo assumed the post.

In a Sept. 19 statement, Sirangelo said the partnership with OHB “will lead to significant new revenues, manufacturing opportunities and markets for our products, technologies and expertise in the European aerospace marketplace. At the same time, we believe that OHB and MT Aerospace will be able to utilize our existing relationships and manufacturing capabilities to further their business in the US.”

reported $32.6 million in revenue

in 2006.