Iridium Acquires Satelles for $115 Million

Saying it wants to expand its reach as a global alternative positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) service, Iridium Communications IRDM 0.00%↑ has acquired Satelles for $115 million.

Iridium plans to make Satelles’ Satellite Time and Location (STL) service a part of its product line, which it expects to generate more than $100 million per year by 2030.  In addition, the company is assuming all rights to the Satelles patent portfolio.

Iridium acquires Satelles for $115 million (Image: Iridium).

“This market is growing; it’s a perfect application of our network, and this solution solves a problem for critical industries better than anything else,” said Matt Desch, Iridium CEO, in a statement.  “Acquiring Satelles makes perfect sense for Iridium and is consistent with what our strategy has always been, which is to take advantage of our unique network to do what others can’t or do it better than anyone else can.”

Iridium, which already owned 20 percent of Satelles through three previous investments, says it will deploy a more accessible solution for integration with autonomous systems, consumer devices, vehicles and traditional markets like aviation, maritime and land mobile.  “It also provides an opportunity for Iridium’s existing partner eco-system to add to their portfolio of solutions and harden their GNSS-reliant products and infrastructure,” the company said in a press release.

Iridium, which expects to complete the acquisition in the next few weeks, said that Satelles CEO Michael O’Connor will report to Desch.

For its part, Iridium has been a major player in location technology for decades. This week, the company equipped South Korea’s Army with more than 1,000 Iridium Connected SAT-PRE (Position Reporting Equipment) handheld devices.


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