Iconic Canadian Space Firm Targets $400 Million in IPO Return

The Canadian space technology firm best known for developing the robotic arm used on the International Space Station aims to raise C$500 million ($400 million) in its stock market return.

MDA Ltd. is looking to sell 25 million to 31.25 million shares for between C$16 and C$20 each in an initial public offering in Canada, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing. The Brampton, Ontario-based firm plans to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MDA.

The IPO marks a return to public markets for an iconic Canadian company once known as MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. It previously traded in Toronto and was renamed Maxar Technologies Inc. in 2017 after its acquisition of Colorado-based DigitalGlobe Inc., a deal that led to a New York Stock Exchange listing as well.

Iconic Canadian Space Firm Targets $400 Million in IPO Return

Maxar then sold the Canadian space and defense assets for C$1 billion to a Toronto-based private equity firm led by John Risley and Andrew Lapham, with investors including former BlackBerry Ltd. co-CEO Jim Balsillie and Montreal-based Senvest Capital Inc. The deal closed last April.

MDA specializes in space robotics, satellite systems and satellite imagery analysis. Its products include a global maritime information platform for vessel detection and climate monitoring, sensors for space missions and the robotic Canadarm used in NASA’s Space Shuttle program and later on the International Space Station.

MDA plans to use about C$340 million of the proceeds to repay debt and the rest to fund ongoing growth initiatives, according to a regulatory filing.

Bank of Montreal, Morgan Stanley and Bank of Nova Scotia are leading the banking group on the sale, and the investment banks have the option to sell an additional 15% of the offering after the close.

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