Space Imaging Inc. on Selling Block
Spy-satellite company Space Imaging Inc. of Thornton, CO is considering a sale of the company after competitor Orbimage Inc. of Dulles, VA won the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s NextView contract. Space Imaging’s IKONOS commercial 1-meter resolution satellite is expected to deteriorate around 2007.
Industry watchers have speculated that Space Imaging would be sold, and the company has engaged Banc of America Securities to advise it on a sale as one of the firm’s available options. Other companies in the industry include Orbimage, DigitalGlobe, L-3 Communications, and Canadian firm MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. L-3 Communications reportedly had an agreement to buy Space Imaging contingent on a win of the NextView contract, and there is reportedly some current interest from DigitalGlobe.
Space Imaging was founded in 1994 through the financial backing of marquee investors Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Raytheon Systems Company, Mitsubishi and Hyundai. Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co. together own 76% of Space Imaging, which has 180 employees. Putting a value on Space Imaging is somewhat complicated, however, in part because of its satellite’s limited life span.