Newspaper article The Canadian Press

MacDonald, Dettwiler CEO: Head Office May Move from Vancouver to U.S. by 2019

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

MacDonald, Dettwiler CEO: Head Office May Move from Vancouver to U.S. by 2019

Article excerpt

Canada's MDA may move HQ to U.S., says CEO

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Canada's leader in space technology, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., may end up moving its head office to the United States within two years, but that's only one possible outcome of its proposed takeover of Colorado-based DigitalGlobe.

The Vancouver-based company has made a firm commitment that DigitalGlobe's ultimate parent will be a U.S. company by the end of 2019 -- although there's been no decision yet about how that will be done, MDA CEO Howard Lance said Friday.

"The alternatives could include moving the entire top (stock) listing over to the U.S. Or it could include other sub-structures that would allow the continuation of an incorporated entity in Canada," Lance told The Canadian Press in an interview from DigitalGlobe's head office.

"There's lots of ways to accomplish this, but I assure that we are doing this with a mind towards the Government of Canada and our Canadian employees."

Lance added that MDA has been in contact with various Canadian federal departments, which were advised of the company's plans for DigitalGlobe before the public announcement.

Earlier, Lance had told analysts on a conference call that the purchase of DigitalGlobe would position MDA to make big advances in the U.S. space technology market. The company has supplied robotics for the International Space Station, the Canadarm for the U.S. Space Shuttle program and satellite-based Earth imaging.

The transaction announced Friday, in which MDA is offering cash and stock worth US$35 per share for its proposed purchase of DigitalGlobe, is expected to close by the second half of this year.

However, given the highly sensitive nature of the technologies involved and the number of approvals required on both sides of the border, the deal has hurdles to jump.

Asked if MDA has received any objections from the Canadian government, Lance told The Canadian Press: "Not that I'm aware of. …

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