Satellite operator SES of Luxembourg has completed the sale of a majority stake in its ND Satcom division to the Astrium space hardware and services company, SES announced Feb. 28.

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of the European EADS aerospace conglomerate, now holds a 75.1 percent stake in ND Satcom of Friedrichshafen, Germany, a provider of satellite ground system hardware and services. SES’s Astra division will retain a 24.9 percent ownership stake in the company, SES said in a press release.

SES, the world’s second-largest satellite fleet operator, acquired a 10 percent stake in ND Satcom in 2000, increased that to 25 percent in 2005 and took full control of the company in 2006. But the ground systems business had been a drag on SES revenue in recent years, owing in part to the weak economy that led customers to delay purchases. The sale of a majority stake in ND Satcom to Astrium was announced in October 2010.