Ultra acquires satellite communications equipment company

Posted: 31st May 2012 09:30

Ultra announces that it has acquired Giga Communications Ltd ("Giga") and associated businesses in Australia and the USA for an initial cash consideration of £12.4m. Additional payments of up to £24.6m will be payable subject to earnings growth over the next two years. Ultra has acquired Giga, a privately-held British company based in Tring, Hertfordshire, UK, from its founder, Chris Lay, and two other shareholders. Chris Lay will stay with the business.
Giga develops, manufactures, sells and supports fixed, mobile and transportable satellite earth stations, or satcom terminals, offered in several forms that operate in the most commonly used frequency bands for satellite communications. These systems include:

  • Flyaway earth stations - earth stations packaged in transit containers that are suitable for transportation by air. Users include military forces and commercial organisations engaged in activities such as news gathering.
  • Vehicle-mounted systems - a full installation service for equipping a vehicle with everything needed to operate an earth station, including on-board power generation, air conditioning, display equipment and all the associated electronics needed to operate the system.
  • Fixed earth stations - fixed installations of antennas from 1.2m to 4.5m in diameter.
  • Micro-sat - a versatile, low cost 'earth station in a suitcase' that operates with modems from the major suppliers of satellite communication services.

Giga designs and manufactures the main components of each system, including the modems, up and down converters, switching and antenna tracking and the antenna structures. Giga has recently received type approval to operate terminals on both the US Defense Satellite Communications System and the Wideband Global Satellite and has received contracts from the US DoD. This year Giga also received a Queen's Award for Enterprise.
The acquisition of Giga will be financed using Ultra's existing facilities and is expected to be earnings enhancing in 2012. Giga will continue to operate from its existing facilities as a bolt-on acquisition within Ultra's Tactical & Sonar Systems Division and will be known as Ultra Electronics, GigaSat.
Rakesh Sharma, Chief Executive of Ultra, commented:
"I am pleased to have been able to bring Giga into the Group. Giga has an excellent position in the satcom market and this acquisition fits Ultra's strategy of being able to offer both terrestrial and satellite communication links. Giga operates in both the military and commercial domains and has a very broad market reach."

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