Satellite imagery company GeoEye Inc today said that it has made a friendly offer to buy DigitalGlobe Inc for $792.3 million, in a cash-and-stock deal, in order to create the world's largest fleet of commercial imagery satellites.
GeoEye is offering DigitalGlobe shareholders a total of $17 a share in cash and stock, a 26 per cent premium to its Thursday's closing price.
Jeffrey Tarr, GeoEye CEO Matt O'Connell said the two companies were in discussions on a potential tie-up and that his company has written a letter to DigitalGlobe's CEO staiting the company is "prepared to move quickly" to execute the deal.
He also said the GeoEye would consider restructuring its proposal to increase the cash consideration to 100 per cent or reduce the cash consideration and increase the stock portion of its offer.
''The proposal delivers exceptional value for the combatant commanders, national decision makers, civil users and disaster relief workers, who have a critical need for unclassified commercial imagery. It also provides benefits for the taxpayer. It offers our government a way to get the information it needs while still reducing its funding obligations," O'Connell said.
Founded in 1993 under the name WorldView Imaging Corporation, DigitalGlobe became EarthWatch Incorporated in 1995, before finally becoming DigitalGlobe in 2002.
In January 1994, the company merged with the commercial remote sensing efforts of Ball Aerospace. Ball brought significant communications and optics experience in building satellites and was responsible for the design and construction of the QuickBird sub-meter satellites.