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August 28, 2008

Wikipedia: MacDonald Dettwiler

Filed under: — admin @ 4:25 am
Type Public
Founded 1969
Headquarters Richmond, BC
Key people Daniel Friedmann (President and CEO)
Industry Information technology services, Advanced engineering services
Revenue $1,052.5 million CAD (2006)[1]
Net income $83.6 million CAD (2006)[1]
Employees 3,000+ (2006)[1]
Subsidiaries MDA Space Missions

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA) is a Richmond based, Canadian information services and products company, employing over 3000 people throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, under the MDA brand name.[1]

MDA provides commercial customers, industrial partners and governments (civil, defense, security, space, and R&D agencies) with such information systems and solutions as:

  • Space robotics, satellite information and payload systems
  • Earth observation, airborne, surveillance, intelligence, and environmental monitoring
  • Radar and optical satellite imagery, and, remote sensing
  • Mapping products
  • Advanced Research and Development services for government, defense and commercial customers
  • Robotic surgery research via its NeuroArm development program
  • Real estate information products



  • 2008 – Canadian government officially blocks sale of MDA to ATK on May 8, 2008[2]
  • 2008 – Shareholders approve the sale of its Information Systems and Geospacial Services operations to Alliant Techsystems of Edina, Minnesota for $1.325 billion.[3] However, amongst much media coverage, the sale was rejected by the federal government of Canada, the first time ever in It’s history.[4]
  • 2007 – named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, as published in Maclean’s magazine.[5]
  • 2006 – acquires Lyttle & Co. (Belfast, Northern Ireland), property and related search information[6]
  • 2006 – acquires xit2 Ltd. (Nr Charlbury, Oxfordshire, UK), information exchange solutions for lenders and home surveyors and other outsourced service providers[7]
  • 2006 – acquires Rochford Brady Group (Dublin, Ireland), legal property and company information search
  • 2006 – acquires PropertyFlow (Kent, United Kingdom), property insurance and conveyancing search
  • 2006 – expands into financial services with acquisition of Mindbox, a supplier of advanced decision systems for mortgage lending, for $12.6 million USD, with up to $10.75 million contingent on performance[8]
  • 2005 – acquires business of EMS Technologies Canada (previously RCA Canada, which then became the Montreal division of SPAR Aerospace), a major supplier and subcontractor, for $8.9 million[8]
  • 2004 – acquires Marshall & Swift / Boechk for $337.8 million, with $104.9 million contingent on performance.[8]
  • 2003 – acquires Millar & Bryce, a commercial provider of land information in Scotland, for $21.32 million, with $1.76 million contingent on performance.[9]
  • 2002 – acquires Dynacs for $3.1 million, with an additional $6.8 million contingent on performance[8]
  • 2002 – acquires Automated Mining Systems of Aurora, Ontario for $225,000[10]
  • 2002 – acquires Earth Satellite; subsidiary becomes [MDA Federal]
  • 2001 – MDA UK launches National Land Information Service (NLIS)
  • 2000/01 – Orbital Sciences divests its MDA shares through an initial public offering; trades as TSX: MDA
  • 2000 – enters joint venture with LandAmerica Financial Group to create LandMDA, a provider of property reports to lenders[11]
  • 2000 – acquires Atlantic Technologies of Huntsville, Alabama for $12.5 million on closing and $8.9 million in MDA shares (paid over 3 years); becomes MD Atlantic Technologies
  • 2000 – acquires DataQuick Information Systems
  • 1999 – completes buy-out of Radarsat International from Spar Aerospace, Technology Horizons Ltd., and Lockheed Martin Astronautics
  • 1999 – acquires FDI Forest Dimensions, a provider of forestry-related mapping and forest inventory management
  • 1999 – acquires the Space and Advanced Robotics (Brampton, Ontario) Division of SPAR Aerospace; subsidiary becomes MD Robotics
  • 1999 – acquires Terra Surveys (Ottawa)
  • 1997 – MDA led consortium purchases BC Online from Province of British Columbia
  • 1997 – acquires Triathlon Mapping
  • 1997 – acquires Maritime Information Systems business of CANAC/Microtel
  • 1996 – acquires Iotek, a supplier of signal processing and sonar technology for military customers, for undisclosed sum[12]
  • 1995 – MDA acquired by Orbital Sciences for $67 million in stock[13]
  • 1969 – founded by John S. MacDonald and Vern Dettwiler

See also

  • MDA Space Missions
  • NeuroArm
  • Canadarm

External links

  • MDA web site
  • Robotic Surgery project neuroArm at University of Calgary
  • “Feds delay ruling on sale of Canada’s top space firm”.


  1. ^ a b c d MDA Q1 2007 Factsheet. Retrieved on 2007-05-28.
  2. ^ “Minister of Industry Confirms Initial Decision on Proposed Sale of Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. to Alliant Techsystems Inc.”, Industry Canada, 2008-05-08. Retrieved on 2008-05-23.
  3. ^ “MDA Selling Canadarm Business to U.S. Firm”, CBC News, 2008-01-08. Retrieved on 2008-02-21.
  4. ^ “Federal government blocks sale of MDA space division”, CBC News, 2008-04-10. Retrieved on 2008-04-10.
  5. ^ Reasons for Selection, 2007 Canada’s Top 100 Employers.
  6. ^ MDA Acquires Legal Search Firm In Northern Ireland. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  7. ^ MDA Acquires Leading Provider Of Electronic Exchange Solutions To Lenders And Surveyors In UK. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  8. ^ a b c d Annual Report 2005. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  9. ^ MDA Acquires Leading Land Information Company in Scotland. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  10. ^ MDA Acquires Small Robotic Mining Company. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  11. ^ In Real Estate, Geographic Information and the Internet Changes Everything. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  12. ^ MDA to Acquire Iotek Inc. of Halifax. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
  13. ^ “Orbital Sciences Deal”, New York Times, 1995-09-06. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
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