Press Release

COM DEV’s exactEarth And Spain’s HISDESAT Join Forces To Tackle The Space-Based AIS Market

By SpaceRef Editor
September 30, 2010
Filed under ,

COM DEV International Ltd. a leading manufacturer of space hardware subsystems, today announced that its data services subsidiary, exactEarth Ltd. (“the Company”), has added a strategic investor that will play an important role in delivering and growing the Company’s exactAIS(TM) service in the marketplace. HISDESAT Servicios Estrategicos S.A., a major Madrid-based satellite operator and service provider that sells data to more than 25 government customers around the world, has taken a 27% equity interest in exactEarth with a cash investment of CDN $15 million, which represents an implied $55.5 million valuation of the exactEarth business. The cash investment will support exactEarth’s on-going business operations and the deployment of additional space and ground infrastructure.

“We are excited to have access to HISDESAT’s data services expertise and global market reach,” said Peter Mabson, President of exactEarth Ltd. “These strengths are complementary with COM DEV’s strengths in satellite technology and are very well aligned with our needs at exactEarth as we roll out AIS data services into the international marketplace. HISDESAT’s investment follows closely on the heels of our successful service launch last month and confirms our commitment and ability to deliver a premium quality and highly reliable space-based AIS data service to the global market.”

In addition to its investment in exactEarth, HISDESAT will play a strategic role in supporting the Company’s operations and service delivery. HISDESAT will represent exactEarth as a reseller in a wide range of market territories where they have an established market presence. In addition to this, it is expected that HISDESAT will operate a second data center in Europe on behalf of the exactEarth business, in a move that will further improve the overall reliability of the exactEarth global AIS system.

“We view our strategic investment in exactEarth as a long-term commitment to support our business interests in global surveillance,” said Roberto Lopez Fernandez, Chief Executive Officer of HISDESAT. “We have spent considerable time evaluating the exactEarth AIS technology and the Company’s business plan, and have concluded that both are well aligned with our objectives. It was a logical next step to participate in this opportunity directly through an equity investment. We are pleased to be strategically aligned with COM DEV in capitalizing on the Space-based Maritime Surveillance opportunity this technology represents. There is a lot of potential for exactEarth, and we believe in its future.”

“The HISDESAT partnership is an ideal one for exactEarth,” said Michael Pley, Interim CEO of COM DEV. “HISDESAT offers highly complementary expertise and customer relationships at a crucial time for the Company, as it commences commercial operations of its space-based AIS data services business. The extended market access that HISDESAT brings to the Company is a significant strategic benefit, and augments the sales and marketing reach that exactEarth has successfully achieved on its own. Attracting such a well known and experienced satellite operations and space data service company as an investor speaks volumes in support of the potential of exactEarth’s business. We welcome HISDESAT as a strategic partner and look forward to a very strong, enduring, and successful partnership with them.”

The HISDESAT transaction, which closed today, implies a post-money valuation of approximately $55.5 million for exactEarth. At the end of the most recent fiscal quarter the Company was valued at approximately $16 million on COM DEV’s consolidated balance sheet. COM DEV has committed to funding $35 million of the Company’s capital and operating expenses, of which approximately $24 million has been provided to date. COM DEV retains ownership of 73% of exactEarth. (All amounts are stated in Canadian dollars.)

About exactEarth Ltd.

exactEarth Ltd. ( is a data services company that leverages advanced microsatellite technology and globally deployed ground systems to deliver monitoring solutions characterized by high performance, reliability, security, and simplicity. exactEarth’s initial service, exactAIS(TM), is a global vessel tracking and monitoring system based on world leading space-based advanced AIS detection technology.


HISDESAT Servicios Estrategicos, S.A. ( is a supplier of services based on space systems, to government clients in Spain and other allied, and friendly countries. The company is specialized in the acquisition, operation and commercialization of systems orientated to space, with the purpose of providing strategic and communication services, for both civil and military applications. HISDESAT was established as the first commercial supplier in the world to provide satellite communication services in X and Ka Band for government applications exclusively.


COM DEV International Ltd. ( is a leading global designer and manufacturer of space hardware subsystems. With facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, COM DEV manufactures advanced products and subsystems that are sold to major satellite prime contractors for use in communications, space science, remote sensing and military satellites.

SpaceRef staff editor.