WESTMINSTER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in earth imagery and information about our changing planet, today announced the formation of a joint venture with TAQNIA, a firm dedicated to accelerating technology development for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in partnership with KACST to develop a constellation of highly capable small imaging satellites to support the needs of customers around the world.
DigitalGlobe and TAQNIA and KACST signed an agreement on February 21, 2016, to form a joint venture that will be responsible for developing six or more sub-meter resolution imaging satellites. The small satellites are expected to be capable of collecting imagery with anticipated 80 cm resolution and will leverage DigitalGlobe’s industry-leading ground infrastructure. TAQNIA and KACST will benefit from DigitalGlobe’s imagery production platform and expertise and massive catalog of high-resolution, high-accuracy imagery, which will improve the native accuracy of the small satellite imagery. TAQNIA and KACST will also benefit from DigitalGlobe’s global distribution capability and existing customer relationships with the world’s largest buyers of commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information.
KACST will construct, integrate, and launch the satellites, and it will own 50% of the satellites’ imaging capacity inside of KACST’s communication cone, which includes Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region. DigitalGlobe will have rights to the other 50% of the capacity inside this region and 100% of the satellites’ capacity outside of the region. TAQNIA will be responsible for marketing and monetizing 50% of the capacity within the KACST communication cone. DigitalGlobe will be responsible for marketing and monetizing the remaining 50% of capacity within the KACST communication cone and 100% of the remaining worldwide capacity. Additionally, DigitalGlobe, TAQNIA, and KACST will share the commercially generated revenue. The small satellites are expected to be launched in late 2018 or early 2019 and will be highly complementary to the next-generation satellite architecture DigitalGlobe is developing to replenish WorldView-1 and WorldView-2. Finally, this partnership offers DigitalGlobe customers a complementary source of data to address new use cases, while expanding the image catalog of DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data platform.
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), an independent scientific organization led by H.H. Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al Saud and one of DigitalGlobe’s direct access customers, will lead the development of the small satellites and benefit from the assured, supplemental capacity and intra-day revisit rate they will provide.
“The satellites developed under this partnership will allow us to uniquely unlock new value in emerging use cases by combining high-resolution, high-accuracy imagery and high-revisit imagery,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, DigitalGlobe President and Chief Executive Officer. “This innovative, capital-efficient business model leverages DigitalGlobe’s extensive investment in an industry-leading ground infrastructure and our customer relationships to the mutual benefit of both parties. We are proud to expand our strong partnership with H.H. Dr. Turki and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“Partnering with the premier commercial satellite imaging firm will help to propel the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to become a leader in remote sensing and satellite technology,” said H.H. Dr. Turki bin Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors for TAQNIA and President of KACST.
“We believe this partnership has tremendous value for TAQNIA, DigitalGlobe, and the many global customers that will be able to leverage these unique capabilities,” said Mr. Abdullah Alosaimi, Chief Executive Officer of TAQNIA Space Company.
DigitalGlobe is a leading provider of commercial high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions that help decision makers better understand our changing planet in order to save lives, resources, and time. Sourced from the world's leading constellation, our imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet our customers' most demanding mission requirements. Each day customers in defense and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, navigation technology, and providers of location-based services depend on DigitalGlobe data, information, technology, and expertise to gain actionable insight.
TAQNIA SPACE is a Saudi Company owned by Saudi PIF (Public Investment Fund). TAQNIA's objectives include technology transfer, commercializing technology, supporting sustainable growth of the GDP, diversifying the economy, and creating high quality jobs. Our vision is to be a leader in the Middle East as a satellite manufacturer, operator, and service provider targeting different market segments, Secured Satellite Communications and offering voice, data, & video services. Also the Company provides high value remote sensing Data and images.
Special note about forward-looking statements
Certain statements contained herein, including statements about our 2016 outlook, contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future financial performance. We generally identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “could,” “intends,” “target,” “projects,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” or “looks forward to,” or the negative of these terms or other similar words, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words.
The production, launch, and operation of the satellites will be subject to customary governmental and regulatory approvals. Any forward-looking statements are based upon our historical performance and on our current plans, estimates and expectations. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by us that the future plans, estimates or expectations will be achieved. Such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties and assumptions. A number of important factors could cause our actual results or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: the loss, reduction or change in terms of any of our primary contracts or decisions by customers not to exercise renewal options; the availability of government funding for our products and services both domestically and internationally; changes in government and customer priorities and requirements (including cost-cutting initiatives, the potential deferral of awards, terminations or reduction of expenditures to respond to the priorities of Congress and the administration, or budgetary cuts resulting from Congressional committee recommendations or automatic sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011); the risk that U.S. government sanctions against specified companies and individuals in Russia may limit our ability to conduct business with potential or existing customers; the outcome of pending or threatened litigation; the loss or impairment of any of our satellites; delays in the construction and launch of any of our satellites or our ability to achieve and maintain full operational capacity of all our satellites; delays in implementation of planned ground system and infrastructure enhancements; loss or damage to the content contained in our imagery archives; interruption or failure of our ground system and other infrastructure; decrease in demand for our imagery products and services; increased competition, including possibly from companies with substantial financial and other resources and services, that may reduce our market share or cause us to lower our prices; our inability to fully integrate acquisitions or to achieve planned synergies; changes in satellite imaging technology; our failure to obtain or maintain required regulatory approvals and licenses; changes in U.S. or foreign law or regulation that may limit our ability to distribute our imagery products and services; the costs associated with being a public company; and other important factors, all as described more fully in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014.
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