SES closes $450 million acquisition of DRS’ satellite communications business

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Former DRS executive David Fields succeeds Pete Hoene as president and CEO of SES Government Solutions

WASHINGTON — Communications satellite operator SES announced Aug. 1 it completed the acquisition of DRS Global Enterprise Solutions, a business acquired from Leonardo DRS for $450 million. 

DRS GES will be part of SES Government Solutions, based in Reston, Virginia. The acquisition was announced in March.

Before it was sold to SES, DRS GES was a business unit of defense contractor Leonardo DRS and one of a handful of network integrators that provide managed satcom services to the Defense Department and other government agencies. The Pentagon relies on integrators to stitch together networks from multiple vendors.

SES, headquartered in Luxembourg, operates a fleet of more than 70 geosynchronous and medium Earth orbit satellites. 

The company expects to leverage the DRS customer base to grow its U.S. defense and government business. SES said it plans to serve “multi-orbit satellite communications needs of the U.S. government and supporting missions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air.”

Following this acquisition, the U.S. government is expected to become “SES’s largest data business segment in terms of revenue,” said the company.

DRS as an integrator was vendor agnostic and provided satcom services from multiple operators of satellites in geostationary, medium and low Earth orbits. SES said the new business will offer “multi-operator network solutions” but particularly focus on SES’s soon-to-be launched O3b mPower constellation which the company designed with military and government customers in mind.

As is required for U.S. government and defense contractors owned by a foreign parent company, the combined SES and DRS business will operate under the direction of the SES GS proxy board of directors.

 The combined business is led by former DRS senior vice president David Fields, who assumed responsibilities Aug. 1. He succeeds Pete Hoene as president and CEO of SES Government Solutions. Hoene is retiring after 11 years at the company. 

Billy Bingham, a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, was named chairman of the SES GS proxy board.