Kongsberg Plans to Acquire Majority Stake in NanoAvionics

Kongsberg Plans to Acquire Majority Stake in NanoAvionics

Kongsberg Plans to Acquire Majority Stake in NanoAvionics

Washington: Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, a renowned aerospace company based in Norway, announced that it is planning to acquire the majority of stake in NanoAvionics, an advanced small satellite bus manufacturer. The acquisition was finalized in a new deal that values even small companies at US$ 67 million.

Kongsberg is aiming to acquire nearly 77% of NanoAvionics under the terms of the agreement. The management of the latter is set to hold about the other 23% of stakes. In 2018, AST SpaceMobile had successfully acquired a 51% stake in the company, which it promised to sell.

The novel agreement would represent a game changer for the space ambitions of Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace. The company will be able to broaden its portfolio by acquiring NanoAvionics. At the same time, it is planning to get hold of the latter’s innovative technology and products to manufacture and design small satellites. The acquisition would enable the company to grow further and reach a whole new level in the Norwegian space sector in the upcoming years.

A month and a half after Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace ordered three small satellites from NanoAvionics, the deal came in between two of these companies. All three satellites are expected to be launched in 2024 and they will be utilized to track ships by using radar emissions and Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders from those vessels not broadcasting AIS signals. Three new satellites are set to become the core of a large constellation for coverage across the globe.

Moreover, those three satellites are projected to utilize the MP42 satellite bus designed by NanoAvionics. It is mainly developed for satellites possessing weights of 50 kilograms or more. The company was working on cubesat-class spacecraft. The company’s first-ever MP42 satellite was launched on the Transporter-4 rideshare mission by SpaceX in April and it had showcased hosted payloads.

NanoAvionics has also attracted a new consumer base for its small satellites across the globe. It also declared that it would sign contracts with start-up companies, such as Turion Space and Gama, to deliver complete satellites or satellite buses. The company is also aiming to provide research institutions and universities with satellites across New Zealand and Australia in the next decades.

NanoAvionics and Kongsberg mentioned that the new acquisition is set to close after the completion of customary conditions, such as regulatory reviews. However, the companies are yet to estimate when that would occur in future years.

As per one of the officials of NanoAvionics, “Collaborating with Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace, one of the most respected names in the space, maritime, and defense domain, is expected to help us in expanding and strengthening our position in the NewSpace sector. Besides, it would help us to gain access to emerging markets. It is a perfect match and the right timing for both companies to create a world-class space firm by consolidating our expertise. It is anticipated to be a major contractor for small satellite missions.”

The planned sale of investments is set to provide Kongsberg with additional liquidity. It is also projected to enable AST SpaceMobile to focus more on the launch of the first commercial satellites and its direct-to-cell, core phone technology.

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