WASHINGTON — European smallsat builder GomSpace has entered a settlement agreement using Maritime & Aerial, a firm Gomspace helped start and for which it had already built eight satellites.
GomSpace stated that Maritime & Aerial is going to be liquidated, which GomSpace will retain ownership of the eight satellites, designed to monitor ships and airplanes.
In a June 17 interview, GomSpace chief executive Niels Buus explained the coronavirus pandemic hope that Maritime Aerial &, which was unable to raise capital, could come across investors.
“The most important reason is now we got into this COVID-19 situation where most airplanes are standing around the floor,” Buus stated. “We believe it will take a while before that business again will be good to pursue”
GomSpace will try to market the eight cubesats, or find another purpose for these, Buus stated.
Maritime aerial &, established in Mauritius and founded in 2015, intended to compete with Iridium’s spinoff Aireon in tracking aircraft and also firm exactEarth in ship tracking. But because of its inability to raise funding, Aerial & Maritime was restricted in its operations during 2019, based on the fourth quarter 2019 results, released in February of GomSpace.
Buus declined to state how much investment Aerial & Maritime needed to complete its constellation of 80 to 100 satellites, stating only that it could have turned into a”considerable quantity of cash” to scale to that size.
“We didn’t deem that possible under these conditions,” he said.
GomSpace and the Norwegian administration’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) will be the first owners of Aerial & Maritime.
Regarding whether the bureau has canceled all future strategies for Maritime & Aerial IFU Communication Director Rune Norgaard, failed to respond to a June 17 SpaceNews inquiry.
GomSpace, in a news release, said the settlement is going to lead to a reduction in backlog of about 14 million Swedish krona, and a roughly 12 million Swedish krona depreciation in equity interest in the spinoff.