[SatNews] Astrotech Corporation (Nasdaq:ASTC) has announced a major step in its strategic evolution with the signing of a definitive agreement to sell the assets constituting its Astrotech Space Operations business (ASO) to Lockheed Martin Corporation, including the assets of its wholly owned subsidiary, Astrotech Space Operations, for $61 million.
"We are very excited about what this transaction means for our shareholders," stated Thomas B. Pickens III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Astrotech Corporation. "This represents the beginning of a new era for Astrotech Corporation as the company can now concentrate our efforts on high growth business opportunities while having the needed resources to develop and fulfill the potential of our 1st Detect mass spectrometer product line."
Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the approval by the Astrotech Corporation shareholders, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014. Upon closing, ASO will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin and managed by the corporation's Space Systems business area.
Astrotech is one of the first space commerce companies and remains a strong entrepreneurial force in the aerospace industry, identifying, developing and marketing space technology for commercial use. The ASO business unit serves government and commercial satellite and spacecraft customers with pre-launch services on the eastern and western range. 1st Detect Corporation is developing what we believe is a breakthrough miniaturized mass spectrometer, the MMS-1000(TM), while Astrogenetix, Inc. is a biotechnology company using microgravity as a research platform for drug discovery and development.