Maxar Technologies has announced its intent to acquire Saab’s shares in Vricon Inc., a fifty-fifty joint venture.
In 2015 Saab entered into the JV with DigitalGlobe (now Maxar) to produce photo-realistic 3D products and digital elevation models globally for enterprise and government geospatial markets. Vricon provides satellite-derived 3D data for defense and intelligence markets, with software and products that enhance 3D mapping, Earth intelligence data, military simulation and training and precision-guided munitions.
“Maxar commercial satellite imagery has long been foundational to U.S. and allied defense and intelligence operations, and this acquisition will enable training, simulation and tactical missions to be conducted in highly immersive and accurate 3D environments,” said Dan Jablonsky, Maxar CEO. “Vricon will allow Maxar to accelerate the creation of a living digital model of the Earth—'The Digital Globe'—and become the global geospatial reference standard for existing and next-generation location-based applications.”
Maxar hopes the transaction will also unlock new defense and commercial markets such as autonomous navigation and 5G telecommunications network planning.
According to an agreement between the stockholders, Maxar was granted a call option to acquire Saab’s shares in Vricon Inc. in 2020 or 2021.
After Maxar exercises the call option, the intended transaction becomes formally binding and the financial implication for Saab from such transaction would be a positive cash flow effect of 117 MUSD and a preliminary capital gain of approximately 1 BSEK. Maxar has declared its intention to exercise the call option on or about June 25 and the agreed objective would then be to close the transaction in July 2020.