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The MDA files would be made open to the general public

MDA Limited, a Canadian space technology firm, submitted papers for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on March 22 to raise funds to pay off debts and invest in new ventures. MDA declared its plan to raise $500 million Canadian ($397 million US) in an IPO, valuing the firm at over $2.2 billion, in a report with the Canadian securities regulators. The Globe and Mail first announced the company’s intention to apply for an IPO last week.

When MDA was sold to a consortium of investors headed by the Canadian private equity fund Northern Private Capital in 2019 December, it became an independent entity in April. Maxar, known best for Radarsat array of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites as well as the Canadarm robotic arms utilized on the space shuttle as well as International Space Station, received a $1 billion Canadian payment from the company to buy its previously Canadian business units.

MDA claimed in its initial prospectus that $340 million of the revenues would be used to repay around 80% of its unpaid debt. The remaining funds will be used to fund future programs, such as an upcoming SAR satellite to substitute the current Radarsat-2 spacecraft, which the corporation revealed on Feb. 2. The satellite, dubbed SARnext in the prospectus, is expected to cost $350 million to develop.

 SARnext is expected to raise $2 billion in sales over the next 15 years, according to MDA, which is part of the firm’s ambitious development plans, which include revenue growth of about $411 million in the year 2020, $800–900 million in the year 2022, and over $1.5 billion in the year 2025. Radarsat and maritime domain recognition programs are part of the firm’s geointelligence business segment, which is expected to rise from $179 million in sales in the year 2020 to about $565 million in the year 2025.

According to the company, several other projects are projected to lead to sales growth in the coming years. MDA has a deal to design the Canadarm3 robotic arm, which will be Canada’s contribution to NASA-led lunar Gateway, and expects to gain contracts for later stages of construction this year. Over a 15-year term, Canadarm3 will raise $1.4 billion in sales for MDA’s growth and operations.

Providing antenna platforms for Lightspeed, Telesat’s low Earth orbit broadband constellation is another “flagship” program listed by MDA in the prospectus. Over many years, the initiative would raise $800 million in sales, with a “multibillion-dollar potential chance “if Telesat exercises opportunities to extend the constellation from about 300 to around 1,600 satellites. Independently, MDA has a $1.5 billion deal to sell cyber combat suits to Canadian military warships.

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