Spaceflight Industries sells satellite rideshare business to Japan-based companies
Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries Inc. — which has a Herndon location — has sold its satellite rideshare business Spaceflight Inc. to Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Chiba, Japan-based Yamasa Co. Ltd., the company announced Tuesday.
Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the parent company, Spaceflight Industries, will use the capital from the sale to grow BlackSky, its geospatial intelligence business. BlackSky collects and distributes images and data from its satellites in orbit to clients.
The transaction will be reviewed by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, which evaluates national security aspects of foreign investment. The companies anticipate that the deal will be approved during the second quarter of 2020 as the review process can take months to complete.
Spaceflight will continue to operate as an independent U.S.-based company and its headquarters will remain in Seattle. It will have a 50/50 joint venture ownership stake by Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa.
“The acquisition provides an opportunity to be a part of a high-growth international portfolio, which offers deep expertise and investment opportunities,” Spaceflight CEO and President Curt Blake said in a statement. “Spaceflight remains committed to our mission of providing comprehensive launch services that enable routine, reliable and affordable access to space.”
Blake will also continue as CEO and president, but the company will establish a new board of directors with a majority of U.S.-based members.
Spaceflight Industries was founded in 1999 and has launched 271 satellites since its inception. The company purchases satellite capacity and sells rideshare services on commercial launch vehicles.