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TMCNet:  Longmont's DigitalGlobe finalizes acquisition of GeoEye

[February 01, 2013]

Longmont's DigitalGlobe finalizes acquisition of GeoEye

Jan 31, 2013 (Daily Times-Call - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- DigitalGlobe on Thursday said it has completed its acquisition of Virginia-based rival GeoEye.

The deal, announced in July, combines the world's two largest commercial satellite imagery companies. The cash and stock deal was worth about $453 million. The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under DigitalGlobe's symbol of DGI, and the company said its market cap is $2.1 billion.

"With a stronger financial profile, more robust suite of services and among the world's most advanced geospatial production and analysis capabilities, we will be even better positioned to meet customers' needs and create value for shareowners," Jeffrey Tarr, DigitalGlobe's president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the deal's completion. "Together, we are poised to achieve our vision of being the leading source of information about our changing planet." There was some concern among analysts about whether the two companies would be allowed to become one. The U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were all required to sign off on the deal. The U.S. government is the biggest customer of both companies, primarily through a $7.3 billion contract through the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's EnhancedView program, of which both companies were vendors.

Other governments at all levels -- national, state and local -- in the U.S. and around the world use the satellite imagery for a variety of reasons outside of defense and intelligence, including urban planning, wildlife monitoring and forest and waterway management. Nonprofits use the imagery for things such as famine prevention and monitoring human rights, and private companies such as Google sell the imagery to their customers.

The new company's headquarters will be in Colorado. DigitalGlobe's Longmont facility employs more than 750 people, according to the Longmont Area Economic Council. About 200 people work for GeoEye in Thornton, which is the primary operations center for GeoEye's IKONOS satellite and the secondary operations center for its GeoEye-1.

DigitalGlobe's satellites include WorldView-1 and -2, both built by Ball Aerospace, and QuickBird.

WorldView-3 and GeoEye-2 are both under construction. Tarr told investors in July that the building of both satellites will be completed but only one will be launched. The other will be used as a ground spare and deployed should one of the ones already in orbit need to be replaced or demand for product exceed the capacity of the other satellites.

"We have a deep bench of talented and experienced team members from both GeoEye and DigitalGlobe," Tarr said in his statement, "and I am confident that, together, we will continue to raise the bar for innovation and service in our industry. I look forward to working closely with our Board of Directors, our leadership and all of our team members to ensure a seamless transition for our customers worldwide." DigitalGlobe's stock on Thursday closed down 33 cents to $27.97 a share.

Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-684-5291 or at tkindelspire@times-call.com.

___ (c)2013 the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) Visit the Daily Times-Call (Longmont, Colo.) at www.timescall.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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