COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Microsat designer SpaceDev Inc. will acquire Starsys Research Corp., a Boulder, Colo., developer of actuator and mechanical subassemblies for space systems ranging from the Mars Rover to the Cassini planetary orbiter.
While the transaction is being described as a merger, SpaceDev (Poway, Calif.) is providing the capital and Starsys will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SpaceDev.
SpaceDev is offering $7.5 million in common stock and $1.5 million in cash at the time of the merger, and will pay off $4.6 million of Starsys debt, as well as forgive an outstanding $1.2 million loan to Starsys.
Additional incentives for calendar years 2005 through 2007, including $18 million in SpaceDev stock and $1 million in cash, may be available based on performance.
After the deal closes, SpaceDev will contribute at least $2.5 million of working capital to Starsys. Scott Tibbitts, Starsys founder and CEO, will become a director and executive officer at SpaceDev. Current Starsys President Robert Vacek is expected to remain president of the subsidiary.
SpaceDev specializes in designing cheap, low-earth and suborbital vehicles with the aid of university researchers such as the University of California at Berkeley and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
In addition to working on hybrid rockets and special electronic subsystems, SpaceDev has worked on modified Internet Protocol communication firmware for low-cost communications. The company has 50 employees. Starsys has 130 employees, and its actuators and deployment/separation systems have flown on more than 200 missions.