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Is Macdonald Dettwiler looking to make another splash?

Macdonald Dettwiler
Macdonald Dettwiler
In a press release announcing the Macdoanld Dettwiler’s first ever equity financing, CFO Anil Wirasekara hinted the company might not be done with bold moves like last year’s $875-million acquisition of Space Systems/Loral.

Macdonald Dettwiler (Macdonald Dettwiler Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:MDA) today announced it has closed a previously announced sale of 4.14-million shares at $69.40, banking more than $287-million in the storied company’s first equity raise ever.

CFO Anil Wirasekara hinted the company might not be done with bold moves like last year’s $875-million acquisition of Space Systems/Loral.

“This is the first time MDA has issued equity to finance its growth,” he said. “The acquisition of SSL on November 2, 2012 was transformational for the Company, and with the completion of this financing, MDA will be well-positioned to pursue growth opportunities.”

The SSL acquisition, which MDA CEO Dan Friedmann called “transformational” effectively doubled the size of B.C.’s largest tech company and returned it to its roots in aerospace.

MacDonald Dettwiler, which was formed in 1969, was a pairing of the efforts of John MacDonald and Werner Dettwiler. Since then, the company has been a part of the fabric of Canadian technology. The aerospace giant’s contribution to the Canadarm, a robotic space arm developed in the 1970′s to repair and service NASA space shuttles, is iconic. But in later years company tried to reinvent itself; an experiment with a property data division ended in an abrupt sale in 2010.

The company’s recent activities, however, will be more familiar for those who had followed the company in its halcyon days. MDA is the prime contractor for a spectrometer geology instrument called APXS, which allows NASA’s Curiosity rover to calculate the chemical composition of the rocks and soil on Mars.

At press time, shares of Macdonald Dettwiler were down .2% to $68.72.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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