LONDON Europe's largest satellite and space equipment maker, EADS Astrium, has completed the acquisition of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) (Guildford, England) following approval from the European Commission.
SSTL was spun out of the University of Surrey and focuses on the design and manufacture of small satellites and subsystems. The University said last year it would dispose of its majority 85 percent stake in the company.
Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, said: "This acquisition is essential for SSTL, both in enabling our future plans and maintaining and expanding our R&D investment in competitive new technologies. Being part of Europe's leading space company will considerably strengthen SSTL’s market position."
Professor Sweeting stressed SSTL will remain an independent U.K. company with its individual approach to space whilst benefiting from access to significant financial resources to support the company's growth.
Astrium will gain through enhanced links with the University of Surrey to support staff training and development, as well as through greater cooperation and increased research on space technology and systems.
SSTL built its worldwide reputation in small satellites through the development of innovative technologies which have lowered the cost of operational space missions, such as GIOVE-A, providing in-orbit validation for the Galileo programme, and the RapidEye and DMC constellations providing commercial Earth observation services.
The group recently added a small geostationary platform to their product range as well as very high resolution imaging systems for small satellite applications.
SSTL employs 300 staff working on LEO, MEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and satellite subsystems and optical systems.
Under the share purchase agreement, SSTL will be owned by EADS Astrium NV in the Netherlands.
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