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 Global SpaceTech Firms Witness Flurry of M&A Activity in 2023


Global SpaceTech Firms Witness Flurry of M&A Activity in 2023

The global space and satellite industry has witnessed a spate of merger & acquisition activities in 2023, according to the Space Q3 investment report published by Seraphim Space, the global investment company.

The report said that M&A within SpaceTech has been at all-time highs and the deal volume is largely being driven by well-capitalised New Space acquirers. As many as 21 deals were completed in 2023 by the end of third quarter in 2023 as against 22 deals in 2022.

The high-profile deals include Eutelsat’s merger with OneWeb, merger of the two UAE space tech companies – geospatial solutions provider Bayanat and satellite telecommunications firm Yahsat – to create a $4 billion AI-powered space technology company with global reach, and the UK’s BAE Systems announcing its plans in August last year to acquire the Ball Aerospace business from the US-based Ball Corporation in a $5.55 billion deal.

The other notable deals include Advent International acquiring Maxar Technologies for $6.4 Billion and the Nasdaq-listed Visasat completed the acquisition of Inmarsat in 2023.

PCX Aerosystems also bought NuSpace in the US to diversify capabilities to the space market for an undisclosed sum, and AE Industrials’ platform investment in York Space Systems. These two deals took place in the second half of 2022.

Deals Up by 45%

“The number of SpaceTech deals in the twelve months to Q3 of 2023 were up 45% year-on-year, versus the broader market where M&A deals of venture-backed start-ups globally decreased by 31% compared with the previous year,” the report noted.

According to Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive of BAE Systems, the proposed acquisition of Ball Aerospace is a unique opportunity to add a high quality, fast growing technology focused business with significant capabilities to their core business that is performing strongly and well positioned for sustained growth. It’s rare that a business of this quality, scale and complementary capabilities, with strong growth prospects and a close fit to our strategy, becomes available.

“The strategic and financial rationale is compelling, as we continue to focus on areas of high priority defence and Intelligence spending, strengthening our world class multi-domain portfolio and enhancing our value compounding model of top line growth, margin expansion and high cash generation,” he explained.

The major factor driving these deals in the advancements made in the artificial intelligence sector and the BAE’s plans. Ball Aerospace, in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory, is said to be pioneering “smart satellites” to process data in space. On-orbit processing, where spacecraft use AI to process data at the point of collection, will be its own space race, industry experts predict.

Investment banker Meridian Capital said that global satellite manufacturing and launch market is expected to reach $24.2 billion by 2030 as the cost of satellite production and launches continue to decrease, the space and satellite sector continues to accelerate its growth trajectory.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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