Austin aerospace company selling part of business to Lockheed Martin

May 30, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Austin aerospace company Astrotech Corp. said Thursday it will sell part of its business to global defense giant Lockheed Martin for $61 million

The satellite and space research company — which moved to Austin in 2009 — will sell its Astrotech Space Operations business to Lockheed Martin. If approved by shareholders, the deal would close in the third quarter of this year

Astrotech Space Operations provides support for government and commercial satellite launches. The company says it covers 90 percent of the U.S. satellite service market. It operates facilities in Florida and California

“We are very excited about what this transaction means for our shareholders,” Thomas Pickens III, Astrotech Corp’s chairman and CEO, said in a written statement. “This represents the beginning of a new era for Astrotech Corporation as the company can now concentrate our efforts on high growth business opportunities while having the needed resources to develop and fulfill the potential of our 1st Detect mass spectrometer product line.”

“Astrotech Space Operations’ expertise in the final stages of launch preparation complements our existing capabilities in satellite design, production and integration,” Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s chief executive, said in a written statement.

Astrotech was formerly known as Spacehab and based in Houston. The company also has two other business units, which are not impacted by the sale

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