SES completes $450M purchase of Leonardo DRS satellite biz
Deal doubles Reston satcom company's federal portfolio
Reston-based satellite telecommunications company SES Government Solutions has completed its $450 million acquisition of Arlington-based Leonardo DRS Inc.’s Global Enterprise Solutions satellite communications subsidiary following receiving regulatory approval.
SES Government Solutions, a subsidiary of the Luxembourg-based satellite telecommunications network company, announced the deal’s completion Aug. 1. Leonardo DRS, a subsidiary of Italian defense contractor Leonardo SpA, agreed to the sale in March. The combined businesses are led by David Fields, who previously served as senior vice president and general manager at Leonardo DRS. He succeeds retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Pete Hoene, who retired after 11 years at SES GS.
The combination of the businesses will “create a scaled solutions provider serving the multi-orbit satellite communications needs of the U.S. government” and support missions on land, sea or in the air, the company said in a news release. Its workforce will be able to integrate and manage multi-orbit geostationary and medium earth orbit (MEO) services as well as multi-operator network solutions, including SES’s soon-to-be launched O3b mPOWER system. The company said it expects to save $25 million annually on redundancies created by the merger. Government will become SES’s largest data business segment in terms of revenue.
Under Hoene, SES GS grew by 30% in the last five years, Billy Bingham, a retired Air Force brigadier general who chairs SES GS’s proxy board, said in a statement.
“I am extremely excited about the potential that this combination unleashes, reinforcing our commitment to provide best-in-class satellite network solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense customers,” Bingham said. “We are delighted to welcome Fields, who comes to SES GS with extensive knowledge and expertise in the satellite communications industry and a demonstrated record of achievement in the U.S. Government sector. Well-respected by industry partners and customers, he has developed deep and trusted relationships with many U.S. Government agencies, and we anticipate David to build on his success through his leadership of the combined business.”
In March, Leonardo DRS CEO Bill Lynn said the company was shifting its portfolio focus and that divesting its satellite business would allow the company to consider larger acquisitions to strengthen core capabilities and open new business opportunities. In June, the company announced it would merge with Israel-based Rada Electronic Industries Ltd. and become a public company later in 2022.
Fields now takes on the role of president and CEO of SES GS.
“I am excited to join SES GS and honored to lead the combined team where we will be delivering best-in-class solutions and state-of-the-art multi-orbit satellite networking capabilities,” Fields said in a statement. “SES GS will be significantly expanding its differentiated value proposition for the U.S. government, with a trusted multi-operator network integration and service management solutions. The breadth of our capabilities, now spanning both connectivity and integration, allows for building, managing and supporting the most advanced satellite networks solutions for our U.S. government customers.”