EADS Astrium acquires SSTL

Posted on 7 Apr 2008 by The Manufacturer

EADS Astrium – a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS – has signed an agreement to acquire University of Surrey spin-out Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), the small and micro satellite designer and manufacturer.

The move comes following the University of Surrey’s decision to sell its 80 per cent (approx) majority stake in SSTL.

Under the new agreement SSTL will be owned by EADS Astrium NV in the Netherlands, but it will remain an independent UK company with its own brand and approach. The deal will be of vast benefit to both organisations: SSTL will have access to the resources and facilities of a large corporation, while Astrium will increase its influence in the space technology sector and forge links with the University of Surrey – beneficial to staff training and development.

“SSTL operates in a highly competitive global market. If we are to continue changing the economics of space and provide the innovative solutions our customers demand we must expand and maintain our R&D investment,” said SSTL executive chairman Professor Sir Martin Sweeting. This acquisition strengthens SSTL enormously whilst preserving our unique approach to space.”

Meanwhile, CEO of Astrium UK Colin Paynter said the acquisition was “a substantial complement to what [Astrium] can offer customers around the world,” and described SSTL as “one of the great success stories of the UK space industry.”

The acquisition is currently awaiting regulatory approval.