Cubic buys satellite systems provider Nuvotronics


WASHINGTON — Defense contractor Cubic Corporation on March 14 said it is buying space hardware provider Nuvotronics for $64 million in cash.

Nuvotronics builds radio frequency systems for satellites and other applications. Credit: Nuvotronics.

Durham, North Carolina-based Nuvotronics will enhance Cubic’s protected communications portfolio, which includes GATR inflatable satcom terminals used by the U.S. military and other customers, Cubic said.

The acquisition includes a potential earn out of up to $8 million on top of the $64 million initial purchase price, San Diego-based Cubic said.

Formed in 2008, Nuvotronics manufacturers phased-array antenna systems, filters, diplexers, and other radio frequency components for the space sector, as well as other industries like cellular 5G communications. The company’s prized innovation is PolyStrata, a patented microfabrication process developed with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that enables lower cost production of radio frequency components.

“Nuvotronics’ PolyStrata technology will significantly enhance our protected communications business and position Cubic to address additional high-priority, dual-use technology markets in space, electronic warfare, hypersonic and 5G communications,” Mike Twyman, Cubic Mission Solutions president, said in a statement.

Nuvotronics President David Sherrer declined to comment on the acquisition.

Last year, Nuvotronics received a small business innovation research award from NASA and a multi-million dollar order from an unnamed defense contractor for space-related communications systems.

Cubic’s GATR satellite antennas resemble inflatable beach balls, and are used to rapidly set up communications in remote locations. The Army is authorized to purchase up to $522.5 million worth of GATR inflatable antennas, plus training, spares and equipment, under an August 2018 contract modification.

First responders have also deployed GATR antennas following natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Cubic said it expects the acquisition to be accretive to cash earnings per share by the second full year of operations.

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