News story

UK satellite maker acquired in multi-million deal

Innovate UK-supported Clyde Space has been bought by AAC Microtec in a deal worth £26 million.

Rendering of Earth from space
Clyde Space has been acquired by AAC Microtec

Glasgow-based miniature satellite manufacturer Clyde Space will join AAC Microtec to combine and strengthen the 2 companies’ position in the small and nanosatellite market.

The deal - worth £26 million - is a share and sale purchase agreement. AAC Microtec will own 100 percent of Clyde Space, with Clyde Space’s owners holding 49 percent of the Swedish space technology company.

Around 80 people are currently employed by Clyde Space in Glasgow. It is expected that the deal will create new jobs in both Scotland and Sweden, as well as other growth markets.

Completion of the deal is expected by the end of January 2018.

Gamechangers: Clyde Space

Combined companies

In joining, the 2 organisations have emphasised the complementary elements of each business, the opportunities for research and development (R&D) and cross-selling of products.

Since its launch in 2005, Clyde Space has built up an impressive customer base. It has worked with Nasa, the US Air Force, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency to supply over 2,000 subsystems to small spacecraft.

Clyde Space founder and CEO, Craig Clark said:

AAC’s complementing operations, advanced technology know-how, well-developed corporate structure and direct access to capital markets provide a great platform for the further development and growth of Clyde Space as well as the AAC group’s business as a whole.

AAC Microtec CEO Alfonso Barreiro said:

Our joint R&D capacity will be unique in our segment, enhancing our capability to offer state-of-the-art technology and supporting our strategy to develop robust products based on open architecture platforms to increase flexibility, scalability, and efficiency.

Small satellites

Clyde Space is now a significant presence in the CubeSat sector. CubeSats typically weigh just 4 kg and are about the size of a shoe box. They can take images of the Earth, collect data about weather and ocean behaviour and help connect ground-based communications.

The company led the launch of UKube-1 – Scotland’s first satellite in space. This was part of a contract with the UK Space Agency with support from Innovate UK.

Its work with the ESA, and a presence on the Innovate UK-supported TechDemoSat mission, also helped Clyde Space to innovate and grow.

Its expertise in small-scale satellites will now enable access to further markets with ACC, offering satellites that range from these small CubeSats to 500 kg satellites.

Published 12 January 2018