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SpaceDev to Buy Colorado Company

SpaceDev, a company known for its contributions to private space travel efforts, announced Oct. 26 that it is merging with Starsys Research Corp. of Boulder, Colo.

The Poway-based company will pay $1.5 million in cash and $7.5 million in stock to complete the merger and make Starsys a wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceDev. Approximately $4.6 million worth of debt acquired by Starsys will also be paid off by SpaceDev, which has also agreed to forgive a $1.2 million loan the company previously made to Starsys.

SpaceDev, which has about 50 employees, rose to international fame in the space exploration community last fall when it provided the rocket motors used to propel the first private citizen into suborbital space twice in less than 10 days, clenching the coveted Ansari X prize for project backer and famed Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. In addition to its signature hybrid rocket motors fueled by a combination of laughing gas and rubber, SpaceDev is a provider of micro- and nano-satellites used by the U.S. military and NASA.

Starsys, which has 130 employees, also designs, engineers and manufactures goods for NASA. Starsys products are used to open, close, release and move components on spacecraft.

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“This acquisition is a major milestone for SpaceDev because it combines the highly respected broad range of high-tech space products of Starsys, with the high performance, low cost satellite, spacecraft and propulsion systems designed and produced by SpaceDev,” said SpaceDev Chief Executive Officer Jim Benson, who founded the company in 1997.

Last year, SpaceDev earned nearly $5 million in revenues, while Starsys made approximately $15 million in revenues.

SpaceDev trades over the counter. Its symbol is SPDV. It was trading at $1.50 on Oct. 26.

Jessica Long

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