Commercial Satellite Imagery Providers Announce Merger

DigitalGlobe and GeoEye, two leading commercial providers of high-resolution satellite imagery to the Defense Department and US intelligence community, announced their intent to merge. “Together, we will create a more efficient, more diversified and more capable company, better positioned to thrive in a time of unprecedented pressure on our nation’s defense budget,” said Jeffrey Tarr, DigitalGlobe’s president and CEO, in the companies’ July 23 release. The combined company would retain the name DigitalGlobe. The companies expect to complete the merger in the last quarter of 2012 or early next year. The new firm would be headquartered in Longmont, Colo., and have large presences in Missouri and Virginia and offices in other global locations, states the release. It would initially operate a constellation of five Earth-observation satellites and provide production and analytic services. Over time, it would transition to an optimized three-satellite constellation, including DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 and GeoEye’s GeoEye-2 currently under construction under the US government-sponsored EnhancedView program.