ATK to seek Investment Canada Act approval for MDA acquisition

VANCOUVER - Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) said Thursday it will file an application under the Investment Canada Act for a review of its deal to buy the information systems and geospatial businesses of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (TSX:MDA).


The purpose of the Investment Canada Act is to provide review of significant investments in Canada by non-Canadians in order to ensure a benefit to Canada.
"ATK welcomes a thorough review of its acquisition plan by industry officials and will work closely with the Canadian government throughout the review process," ATK chairman and CEO Dan Murphy said in a statement.

"We believe this acquisition will strengthen the Canadian aerospace industry, grow Canada's world-class aerospace expertise, and open new doors for MDA's proven high performance technology to U.S. and international markets."

The review will run concurrently with a review under U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust rules.

ATK has agreed to pay $1.325 billion in cash for the space and satellite business of MDA, which built the Canadarm, the robotic arm used for work on the space shuttle and the international space station.

The U.S. company, which also makes cluster bombs, mines and munitions as well as rocket components, plans to merge its existing satellite assets with the MDA space business to form ATK Space Systems.

The company has said the Canadian-based facilities and workforce will remain in Canada.

Critics of the deal by the U.S. defence contractor to buy the space business of MDA have argued the sale threatens to put Canada in breach of the 1997 international landmines treaty it helped write.

They also claim the sale could make Canadian technology a contributor to an arms race in space.

Shares in MDA were down 30 cents at $45.17 in Thursday trading on the TSX.

Von:, 31.01.2008

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