MDA Acquires Space Tech Firm Neptec for $42 Million

A shake-up in Canada’s space technology world is seeing one of the larger companies in the sector purchase a specialized firm.

The Maxar Technologies company MDA has announced it acquired the Ottawa-based Neptec Design Group for $42 million. That is split into $8 million in cash and the rest in Maxar shares.

Based in Brampton, MDA is a globally-known leader in space robotics and sensors. Neptec is known for their sensors and cameras currently being used aboard the International Space Station, and they have also helped to build lunar rovers for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The firm is clsoe to 30 years old and has over 100 employees.

“Today’s announcement provides a tremendous opportunity to advance and grow MDA and Neptec internationally, develop powerful new technologies and drive future economies,” said Mike Greenley, group president of MDA. “The Neptec team is well-established in the industry, and this investment represents an important strategic opportunity to offer broader solutions for the growing space exploration market.”

“As a global leader in space technology, I am excited to solidify our position as the provider of the most valuable space exploration products in the world by adding Neptec’s world-class sensor and vision systems and robust space robotic capabilities to our industry-leading space portfolio.”

This acquisition will help MDA create and deliver end-to-end robotic systems, leading to growth in both the U.S. and Canadian space industries. The new sensor business will combine with MDA’s newly-created commercial division.

“In our nearly 30-year history, Neptec has contributed critical systems to some of the most demanding space exploration missions, and we’ve built a reputation for making things work in challenging environments,” said Paul Nephin, CEO of Neptec. “Combining our capabilities with MDA creates a tremendous opportunity to win new business and continue to expand our footprint in Canada, the United Kingdom and globally.”

As MDA is more suited to building robotics and other capable means fo explore space, Neptec will use their sensors to build 3D space systems that can augment how current robotics operate. This could include capturing space vehicles and berthing them to structures.

Neptec and MDA also plan to weigh heavily into the assembly and construction of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a NASA project that will see a lunar-orbit space station be built and launched sometime in the 2020s. This will be done through the next generation fo the Canadarm, an MDA project that recently received over $53 million in funding.