Iunctus Acquires Financially Troubled RapidEye
[Satellite TODAY 09-05-11] Canadian optical satellite imagery provider Iunctus Geomatics has acquired the assets of RapidEye AG in Germany, the companies confirmed Sept. 2. RapidEye’s assets include five identical Earth observation satellites in orbit that were launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in August 2008.
The purchase was finalized Aug. 29 in Potsdam, Germany. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Iunctus said the purchase of RapidEye aims to increase its presence in the worldwide geo-information market. The acquisition combines one of the world’s largest commercial archives of satellite imagery with Iunctus’ extensive distribution channels for satellite data and value-added solutions.
In June, RapidEye CEO Wolfgang Biedermann filed for Germany’s equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after its financial sponsors felt the privately owned imagery firm’s overall debt was too high for the current business, undercutting hopes that commercial demand, alone, could sustain an earth observation company, according to satellite industry analysts. The company, however, spent the last few years managing an aggressive global partnership campaign, which successfully expanded its international network.
“RapidEye will continue to operate as an independent company, leveraging a new strong German management team in order to maintain its successful brand and relationships. Iunctus will continue to invest in RapidEye as we focus on creating a more customer-focused approach and additional value for our customers through our reorganization activities,” Iunctus Geomatics President and CEO Ryan Johnson said in a statement.