Sign Up: Free Daily Tech E-letter  
Technology Home
Washtech
   -Companies
   -Start-up
   -Aether Systems
   -AMS
   -AOL & Time Warner
   -BearingPoint
   -CACI
   -Celera Genomics
   -Ciena
   -Cogent
   -Corvis
   -EntreMed
   -Human Genome Sciences
   -Intelsat
   -Lockheed Martin
   -Manugistics
   -MedImmune
   -MicroStrategy
   -Nextel
   -Verizon
   -WebMethods
   -XM Satellite Radio
   -XO Communications
   -Xybernaut
Tech Policy
Government IT
Markets
Columnists
Personal Tech
Special Reports
Jobs

Advertisement
Company Postings
Get Quotes
Press Releases
Tech Almanac

Lockheed Martin Sells Satellite Telecom Unit
Intelsat Will Acquire Comsat General

Advertisement



The $90 million sale of Comsat General nearly completes Lockheed Martin's exit from commercial satellite services. (Ken Cedeno -- Bloomberg News Service)


_____Lockheed Martin Corp_____
(LMT) Stock Quote and News
Historical Chart
Company Description
Analyst Ratings
_____Lockheed Martin_____
Stock Quote and News
Historical Chart
Company Description
Analyst Ratings
_____Related Articles_____
NIH Panel Backs Tighter Limits on Outside Income (The Washington Post, May 7, 2004)
Prisoner-Abuse Report Adds to Titan's Troubles (The Washington Post, May 7, 2004)
Lockheed Gets Contract for Precision Missile (The Washington Post, May 6, 2004)
Jets, IT Drive Lockheed Gains (The Washington Post, Apr 28, 2004)
More Company News
_____Intelsat News_____
TNS Prepares to Make Initial Public Offering (The Washington Post, Mar 16, 2004)
Intelsat Plans to Hold Long-Delayed Stock Sale Before July (The Washington Post, Feb 5, 2004)
With Profit Down, Intelsat Looks Beyond Telecom (The Washington Post, Oct 22, 2003)
More Headlines
E-Mail This Article
Print This Article
Permission to Republish
By Greg Schneider
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 12, 2004; Page E05

Lockheed Martin Corp. said yesterday it has agreed to sell its satellite telecommunications services business to Intelsat Ltd. for $90 million.

The sale of the business, called Comsat General, nearly completes the Bethesda defense contractor's dismantling of an expensive foray into commercial satellite services. Comsat General sells satellite services to business and government and posted revenue of about $150 million last year.

Intelsat, one of the world's biggest satellite companies, said the acquisition will expand its ability to offer communications services to governments. "The U.S. and other NATO country governments currently rely on commercial satellite capacity for a substantial portion of their mission-critical communications and customized services. We believe that the acquisition . . . will solidify Intelsat's competitive position in this important market," Intelsat chief executive Conny Kullman said in a news release.

Lockheed Martin is one of Intelsat's largest shareholders, with about a 24 percent stake. Under the terms of the deal announced yesterday, up to $40 million of the purchase price could come in stock instead of cash. Intelsat also bought an Atlas rocket from Lockheed Martin yesterday for a satellite launch later this year. The companies did not disclose the cost of that purchase.

The sale of Comsat General leaves Lockheed Martin with only one major business unit remaining from its purchase of Comsat Corp. in 2000 -- Lockheed Martin Intersputnik, a commercial satellite over the Indian Ocean. Spokesman Jeff Adams said Lockheed Martin is "actively" trying to sell that business as well.

The world's biggest defense contractor tried to diversify into telecommunications in the late 1990s when that market was booming and military sales were flat. It spent two years and $2.6 billion acquiring Comsat Corp., fighting for approval from Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to buy what had been a quasi-public entity formed at the very birth of satellite communications in the 1960s.

But the dot-com crash and the expansion of fiber optics contributed to a collapse in demand for satellite services. In late 2001, Lockheed Martin took a $1.7 billion charge to write down the Comsat purchase and has been selling off the components of the company ever since.

Yesterday's transaction "is consistent with our intent to focus on core businesses and monetize valuable assets that are not elements of our long-term strategy," Lockheed Martin financial strategist Jeffrey MacLauchlan said in a news release. The company's focus now is on defense, government information technology and homeland security.


TechNews.com Home

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Company Postings: Quick Quotes | Tech Almanac
About TechNews.com | Advertising | Contact TechNews.com | Privacy
My Profile | Rights & Permissions | Subscribe to print edition | Syndication