Swedish firm buys satellite maker Clyde Space

Swedish space tech company ÅAC Microtec AB announced a share sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Glasgow-based small satellite maker Clyde Space Ltd in a deal worth about £26 million.

After the acquisition, Clyde Space owners will hold 49% of AAC.

Clyde Space employs 77 people in Glasgow.

“Through the acquisition, AAC multiplies its business volume and becomes a global leader in the market for high-reliability CubeSats and small satellites,” said AAC.

“The two companies combined will have a strong presence in Europe, the US and Asia, and will be able to offer a greater number of commercial and institutional customers a more complete range of high-reliability technology, products and platforms …

“The purchase price for 100% of the Clyde Space shares comprises 30,466,326 newly issued shares in AAC and GBP 2 million in cash.

“Post completion of the transaction, the former Clyde Space owners will hold approximately 49 percent of the total number of shares and votes in AAC.”

AAC said Clyde Space’s main owners are founder and CEO Craig Clark with 31.32% ownership, Nevis Capital LLP with 28.18% and Coralinn LLP/Hugh Stewart with 28.06%.

Nine individuals, with less than 5% each, hold the remaining 12.44%.

Craig Clark will join the AAC management team and Will Whitehorn, chairman of Clyde Space, will be proposed as a board member of AAC.

Whitehorn is deputy chairman of Stagecoach Group and a former president of human spaceflight enterprise Virgin Galactic.

AAC said that since the incorporation of Clyde Space in 2005, it established itself as a forerunner in the “New Space” movement and a leader in the market for CubeSats, one of the fastest growing segments of the space technology sector.

Clyde Space develops and manufactures complete, integrated small satellites and CubeSats to commercial and institutional customers around the globe, including Audacy Space, DLR, ESA, JAXA, Kepler Communications, LUX Space, NASA, Outernet, Spire, the UK Space Agency, and the US Air Force.

Craig Clark said: “We are very excited to join the internationally acclaimed and highly competent AAC team.

“AAC’s complementing operations, advanced technology know-how, well-developed corporate structure and direct access to capital markets provide a great platform for the further development and growth of Clyde Space as well as the AAC group’s business as a whole.

“With our combined resources, know-how and pools of highly competent individuals, we will jointly be able to boost the creation of innovative technology and products, and continue to lead the way in the most commercially interesting segments of the satellite market.”

Alfonso Barreiro, CEO of AAC, said: “Together with Clyde Space, we can offer a complete range of advanced and cost-efficient solutions that meets increasing customer demand for flexibility, reliability and prolonged satellite longevity.

“We will have advanced R&D, production and testing facilities in Uppsala and Glasgow, and effective sales channels to commercial and institutional customers across the globe.

“Our joint R&D capacity will be unique in our segment, enhancing our capability to offer state-of-the-art technology and supporting our strategy to develop robust products based on open architecture platforms to increase flexibility, scalability, and efficiency.

“I’m really looking forward to work closely together with Craig Clark and his team to drive commercialization and to lead the third industrial revolution in our part of the space technology market.”