MDA Shareholders Approve Sale of Division to Alliant Techsystems

The shareholders of Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. have overwhelming approved the controversial sale of its space and satellite business to American defense contractor Alliant Techsystems (ATK), The Canadian Press reports.

The proposed sale, which sent shock waves through the Canadian space industry, was approved by 99.9 percent of shareholders. MDA makes Canadarm, the robotic arm used aboard the space shuttle and the international space station. It also built Dextre, an ISS robot that was just launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour.

ATK will pay $1.325 billion in cash for MDA’s space and satellite business. MDA said the sale would provide an infusion of cash and allow it to focus on its information products business.

Canandian opponents of the sale, who say it would cripple Canada’s space program, have vowed to try to block the sale. The transaction must be approved by Canadian and American regulators.