Northern Private Capital deal for MDA closes

Credit: SpaceQ/MDA.

Northern Private Capital (NPC) today has closed the deal to buy MDA from Maxar Technologies bringing the company back into Canadian control.

The deal announced on December 30, 2019 took just over three months to close. It required approval by US and Canadian regulators, something that neither party thought would be an issue, and apparently wasn’t considering the quick close.

It is yet another chapter in the 51 year history for the company once known as MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates.

It’s rather an ironic twist for MDA as it had created the parent company, Maxar Technologies, to expand its business into the US, only to have the parent company sell its Canadian division.

Word from various sources is that MDA has been itching to get this deal closed so that it can move forward with some aggressive plans, though that could be derailed a bit by the coronavirus pandemic. A more vertically integrated company is one theme we’ve heard. What that means in reality, if true, is that the new MDA could pickup some smaller companies which would lead to some consolidation in the Canadian space sector.

Northern Private Capital

NPC is led by John Risley and Andrew Lapham. Lapham is the CEO while Risley, a billionaire, uses the company as an investment vehicle through his company CFFI Ventures.

NPC acquires all of MDA’s operations in Canada and the UK for $1 billion.

In a press release, Risley said “MDA is truly a made-in-Canada success story with global growth potential resulting from its industry- leading technologies across multiple segments of the growing space sector. We are excited to roll up our sleeves with MDA leadership to help shape its future evolution and expansion.”

Mike Greenley, Group President of MDA now transitions to CEO. In the press release Greenley said “I am very proud to lead MDA at such a pivotal moment in this great company’s history. It is inspiring to be associated with such eminent Canadian business leaders who share in a vision to turn MDA into a global powerhouse.”

He further stated “we are open for business. As a space company with a big Canadian flag on our backpack and decades of experience in the space sector building first-of-a-kind space systems, our ability to partner and collaborate will be unmatched.”

According to NPC “equity was provided by NPC and certain of its limited partners, as well as several leading investors including Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Jim Balsillie, Bulldog Capital Partners, Albion River, Nicola Wealth and Senvest Capital along with funds managed by Senvest Management. NPC was advised on the transaction by Bank of Montreal and Scotiabank. Scotiabank and Bank of Montreal also led the senior debt financing, and PointNorth Capital and Canso Investment Counsel provided the junior debt.”

MDA will no longer be a public traded company.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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