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    In 2017, more than $3.9 billion of private capital was invested in commercial space companies. This represents, in a single year, more than half of the total amount of private investment during the preceding five years. The private space sector has also witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of investor participants. The industry continues to expand, and analysts predict that it will grow to a multi-trillion dollar industry in the next two decades. The industry is also witnessing rapidly falling launch prices – and as launch prices drop, the barrier to enter space also decreases. In addition to facilitating the expansion of existing space-based businesses, such as telecommunications and Earth observation, greater access to outer space opens the door for new entrants into fields such as space manufacturing, mining and tourism.
    Almost half of all investment in space companies since the year 2000, the vast majority of which was made within the last six years, has been from venture capital (“VC”) firms. VC investors seek eventually to monetize their investment by exiting through a sale of the company to a third party (usually an existing space industry player, but sometimes to another financial buyer) or through an initial public offering. Acquisitions by industry competitors are particularly common in the satellite sector, where established incumbents often look for outside innovation (for example, Terra Bella’s acquisition by Planet or DigitalGlobe’s acquisition by MDA). Furthermore, space activities are very costly, but benefit from economies of scale – evidenced by joint ventures between Lockheed and Boeing (United Launch Alliance) and between Airbus and Safran.
    In light of the increasing frequency of mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) deal making in the space industry, this paper will examine publicly disclosed acquisition agreements governing certain prior deals in the industry in order to draw conclusions about the unique risks faced by commercial space acquirers and how they have sought to mitigate such risks. From diligence considerations to key terms of the acquisition agreements (such as the representations and warranties), this paper will provide practical insight into the most important considerations for private deals in this growing and rapidly changing industry.


Brendan Cohen
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, United States, bcohen@cgsh.com.

Olga A. Volynskaya
Russian Foreign Trade Academy, Russian Federation, o.a.volynskaya@gmail.com.

Olga A. Volynskaya
ROSCOSMOS, Russian Federation, volynskaya.oa@roscosmos.ru.

Tugrul Cakir
Université Jean Moulin Lyon III, France, PhD candidate.

Olga Volynskaya
Federal Space Agency, Russia

Jean-Marie de Poulpiquet
National Centre for Space Studies, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, SIRIUS Chair

M.J. Stanford
Immediate past Deputy Secretary-General, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit).

M.J. Stanford
Deputy Secretary-General, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit).

D.A. Porras
Associate Officer, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit).

Olavo de O. Bittencourt Neto
University of São Paulo, Brazil, olavo.bittencourt@usp.br.

M.J. Stanford
Immediate past Deputy Secretary-General International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit) This paper is based on the author’s article “The availability of a new form of financing for commercial space activities: the extension of the Cape Town Convention to space assets” published in the Cape Town Convention Journal, 2012, pp. 109 et seq.

Souichirou Kozuka
Gakushuin University (souichirou.kozuka@gakushuin.ac.jp)

Fuki Taniguchi
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan (taniguchi.fuki@jaxa.jp)
Article

Keeping Up with Remote Sensing and GI Advances: Policy and Legal Perspectives

Legal Aspects of Satellite Applications: Navigation and Remote Sensing

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2007
Authors M. Rao and K.R. Sridhara Murthi

M. Rao

K.R. Sridhara Murthi
Article

Regional Disaster Monitoring by Remote Sensing: A Law and Policy Perspective

Conference on Space Law and Space Applications for Disaster Management in the Asia Pacific Region 20-22 November 2007, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2007
Authors M. Onoda

M. Onoda
Article

The Future of Planetary Protection: Is There Reason for Optimism?

Other Legal Matters, Including the Relationship Between Government and Private Sector in Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 6 2006
Authors P.M. Sterns and L. Tennen

P.M. Sterns

L. Tennen
Ethir:

Singapore as a Delta for Space Law in the Asia-Pacific

New Developments in National Space Legislation

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2004
Authors G.M. Goh

G.M. Goh
Article

Exploitation of the Resources of the High Sea and Antarctica: Lessons for the Moon?

2004 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 43rd Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "New Developments and the Legal Framework Covering the Exploitation of the Resources of the Moon"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2004
Authors A. Kerrest

A. Kerrest

I. Förster
Article

Intellectual Property Issues for the Galileo Project

Emerging Legal Issues in Satellite Telecommunications

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2001
Authors B.L. Smith

B.L. Smith
Article

Exobiology and the Outer Space Treaty: From Planetary Protection to the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Concepts of Space Law and the Outer Space Treaty

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 1997
Authors P.M. Sterns and L.I. Tennen

P.M. Sterns

L.I. Tennen
Article

The United States and the 1967 Treaty on Outer Space

Background and History of the Outer Space Treaties

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 1997
Authors E. Galloway

E. Galloway
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