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SES snaps up Leonardo's enterprise unit for $450m

SES military laptop.jpg
Stock image from SES.

Leonardo DRS is to sell its Global Enterprise Solutions business (GES) to SES for US$450 million, as SES strengthens its government solutions business.

Leonardo's GES unit provides commercial satellite communications to the US government and delivers mission-critical satellite communications and security solutions to customers anywhere in the world.

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, stated “The disposal of the GES business is another step forward in the execution of our industrial plan: we are optimising our portfolio and continuing to focus on our core business. The transaction announced today is also confirming our commitment to deliver on our targets, in line with our 2022 Guidance.

"I’m also sure SES is the best industrial partner to ensure a successful long-term future for GES and all our stakeholders,” he added.

The sale is approved by the boards of directors of Leonardo DRS and of SES. The price is gross of taxes and expected to close in the second half of the year, subject to approvals.

As for the plans SES has in store for its new operation, GES will fall into the SES Government Solutions (SES GS) business, which delivers satellite communication solutions leveraging SES’s 70 satellites at geostationary and medium Earth orbits and supporting ground infrastructure.

For Leonardo's part, it said the sale would allow it to "consider larger potential acquisitions that would strengthen its core capabilities and open new market opportunities".

The news comes only weeks after SES promoted John-Paul Hemingway to the newly-created role of chief strategy and product officer.

CEO Steve Collar said at the time: “[This year] is a pivotal year for SES as we launch the infrastructure that will grow and develop our business for the next decade. JP at the helm of our growth strategy."

Confirming its acquisition of GES today, SES said the combination of the two businesses "unites the leader in multi-orbit satellite networking with unparalleled US Government satellite communications integration to deliver broader suite of high-value, best-in-class satcom solutions to US government customers".

Leonardo DRS is the US subsidiary of Leonardo, which also operates in Italy, the UK and Poland. In addition to communications networks, Leonardo is active in electronics, materials, AI and autonomous technologies, among other areas.

Bill Lynn, CEO of Leonardo DRS, added: “The DRS GES business is well-respected by its customers and within the satellite communications (SATCOM) provider services market, and we are very pleased with the agreement reached with SES.

“While the DRS GES business has flourished, Leonardo DRS has shifted its portfolio focus, and selling it now makes the most business sense,” he said.

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