October 03, 2005
ORBIMAGE Acquires Space Imaging
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Message from the Editor -
Welcome to GISWeekly! Space Imaging has been for sale for a few months, but no one knew which company would be lucky enough to purchase all their assets. On September 16, ORBIMAGE announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Colorado-based Space Imaging LLC, a leading supplier of space imaged visual information products and services. The total assets come to approximately $58.5 million less amounts paid by Space Imaging on its existing debt prior to closing. Read about ORBIMAGE's plans to maximize those assets in this week's Industry News.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
ORBIMAGE Acquires Space Imaging
By Susan Smith
On September 16, ORBIMAGE announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Colorado-based Space Imaging LLC, a leading supplier of space imaged visual information products and services. The total assets come to approximately $58.5 million less amounts paid by Space Imaging on its existing debt prior to closing.
Space Imaging has been for sale for a few months, but no one knew which company would be lucky enough to purchase all their assets. In a conversation with Gary Napier of Space Imaging earlier this year, I learned that Space Imaging has a number of assets that other space imaging providers do not have, and that both ORBIMAGE and DigitalGlobe were seriously considering it. ORBIMAGE president and CEO Matthew O'Connell expressed excitement about the Space Imaging acquisition.
base to build on.”
pixels will continue to be an important part of ORBIMAGE business, ORBIMAGE wants to add to that the sale of more value added products.
O'Connell quoted Bobbie Lencowski, who runs the NGA production facility in St. Louis. When ORBIMAGE won the NextView contract, she said, “we're excited about the future because NextView will produce more and better pixels. With those more and better pixels we can figure out more and better things to do.”
Both ORBIMAGE and competitor DigitalGlobe have created partnerships of interest lately that suggest a move into a more commercial arena -
ORBIMAGE and Microsoft penned an agreement to make ORBIMAGE the exclusive provider of satellite imagery for
MSN Virtual Earth, while
DigitalGlobe partnered with Keyhole in a similar agreement. The idea between ORBIMAGE and Microsoft coming together was to bring their two companies together with the sole purpose of combining software and satellite imagery expertise for the developer community to see what they might develop. “Let's make it easy for people to get this terrific information and see what developer community develops,” explained O'Connell.
Four years ago, O'Connell was sent by Merrill Lynch to “clean up” ORBIMAGE and at that time the economy was coming off the cusp of what Alan Greenspan termed “irrational exuberance” in the capital markets. “We had the internet bubble and everyone though we could sell dog food over the internet,” noted O'Connell. “My attitude was, let's cut way back and not promise anything on the consumer side. Now I think we will see more on the commercial side.”
O'Connell said they are less interested in the retail consumer who goes to Google to look for their house, for example. “There's revenue there, but we're more interested in business to business information services that we can use our satellites for.”
Yvent Networks, Inc. (Yvent) and AccuWeather.com (AccuWeather) announced a content distribution partnership agreement to provide AccuWeather content to consumers "on-the-go." Yvent's content delivery service, ROBAND(TM), will support all major Personal Media Player (PMP), Windows®-based devices, according to Dr. Fathy Yassa, founder and CEO of Yvent Networks.
MapQuest, Inc. and TomTom Inc. announced the launch of the MapQuest Personal Navigation Device (PND). Combining the latest GPS technology with preloaded detailed maps, the MapQuest PND(R) will deliver highly accurate, turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions in an easy-to-use portable device. With the MapQuest PND consumers simply turn it on, tap in the destination and drive. This announcement further extends the company's popular maps and directions beyond the desktop and builds upon its presence in the location-based services arena.
Pictometry International Corp., digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software provider, announced that it has signed an agreement with Blom ASA (Norway) that will license the company's technology to Blom for ten years with the option to renew.
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.
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