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Astrium acquires Surrey Satellite Technology Limited

* Astrium acquires world leader in small satellites Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL)
* Acquisition completed following EC approval
* SSTL will remain an independent company with its own brand identity

Stevenage and Guildford, 13 January 2009

Astrium, Europe’s leading space company, has acquired Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), the innovative University of Surrey spin-out company which specialises in the design and manufacture of small satellites and subsystems. This acquisition follows approval by the European Commission in December 2008 and was announced by EADS CEO Louis Gallois today at his January briefing for the media.

“This is great news that we have acquired SSTL. The UK space industry is in a strong position at present – at Astrium we have a healthy order book and we are recruiting engineers, scientists and technicians to build telecommunication, Earth observation, navigation and scientific satellites. Acquiring SSTL means we will have a substantial complement to what we can offer customers around the world – SSTL has expertise in small satellites and an innovative approach to developing new markets for space.” said Colin Paynter, CEO of Astrium in the UK.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Executive Chairman of SSTL, said: “This acquisition is essential for SSTL, both in enabling our future plans and maintaining the ability to expand our R&D investment in competitive new technologies. Being part of Europe’s leading space company will considerably strengthen SSTL’s market position.”

SSTL joins Astrium following a decision by the University of Surrey to sell its majority stake of 85% in the small satellite manufacturer. SSTL will remain an independent UK company with its individual brand and unique approach to space, whilst benefiting from access to greater resources to support the company’s growth. Astrium will benefit from enhanced links with the University of Surrey to support staff training and development, also leading to greater cooperation and increased research on space technology and systems.

SSTL has built its worldwide reputation in small satellites through the development of innovative technologies which have lowered the cost of operational space missions with real world applications, such as GIOVE-A, providing in-orbit validation for the Galileo programme, and the RapidEye and DMC constellations providing commercial Earth observation services. The company has recently added a small geostationary platform to their product range as well as very high resolution imaging systems for small satellite applications.

Astrium is one of the world’s leaders for its expertise in space transportation, spacecraft and satellite services including prime contractor for Ariane 5, the Columbus space laboratory and the Automated Transfer Vehicle for the International Space Station, and its leading-edge large and complex geostationary telecommunications satellites, and the Skynet 5 secure communications system for the UK Ministry of Defence. SSTL will complement Astrium’s existing space capabilities that include space transportation, satellites and services.

Under the share purchase agreement, SSTL will be owned by Astrium NV in the Netherlands.

The acquisition will enhance long-term research collaboration between the University of Surrey and Astrium and will further advance the University’s cutting edge space research capacity. The sale will support the already-strong presence that Guildford and the south-east have in the aeronautical and space industries, creating a centre of expertise for space technology. This will allow for the region to benefit from the Government’s commitment to invest in the UK space industry.

Notes to Editors

About Astrium

Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Astrium had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services. In the UK, Astrium employs more than 3,000 space engineers, scientists and technicians.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, EADS generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116,000.

About SSTL

SSTL develops innovative technologies to change the economics of space, delivering cost effective satellite missions within rapid timescales. The company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites with experience gained over more than 25 years and 32 missions launched.

SSTL employs 300 staff working on LEO, MEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems. The company also provides training and development programmes and consultancy services, and performs studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers related to platform design, mission analysis and planning.

EADS Astrium Media Contacts

Contacts for the media

Matthieu Duvelleroy
EADS Astrium (FR)
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Daniel Mosely
EADS Astrium (UK)
Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Ralph Heinrich
EADS Astrium (GER)
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón
EADS Astrium (ESP)
Tel.: +34 (0) 91 586 37 41


SSTL Media Contacts

Robin Woltenholme
Tel.: +44 (0) 1 30 688 22 88

Stephen Ballard
Tel.: +44 (0) 1 30 688 22 88


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