Lockheed Martin today announced that it has entered into an agreement with World Data Consortium, LLC, under which the Corporation will divest an 81-percent ownership position in its COMSAT International operations in Latin America to World Data. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed but will not be material to Lockheed Martin. The divestiture is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, and it is anticipated it will be completed in four to six months.
COMSAT International is a leading provider of data and voice services to corporations and telecommunications carriers in major Latin American markets, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Operating in Latin America since 1990, COMSAT International maintains a fully integrated managed fiber, wireless and satellite network, over which it provides domestic, regional and international telecommunications services.
World Data Consortium, LLC, is a privately held telecommunications investment firm based in Washington, DC. Its founders and principals include George M. Kappaz, Philip M. Walker and Timothy B. Harmon. The firm focuses on creating value through the acquisition, integration and operation of advanced telecommunications service businesses in Latin America and other regions of the world.
COMSAT International originally was a component of COMSAT Corporation, which Lockheed Martin acquired in 2000 through its Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications unit. When Lockheed Martin determined it would exit the global telecommunications services business in December 2001, it indicated it would divest itself of certain telecommunications assets, including COMSAT International.
Vance Coffman, chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, said, "This transaction marks the latest step by Lockheed Martin to divest non-core businesses in a prudent but timely manner."
"Since our decision six months ago to curtail our global telecommunications services activities, the Corporation also has sold its mobile telecommunications unit and announced the sale of its World Systems satellite business, both formerly part of the COMSAT transaction," Coffman added.
George Kappaz of World Data said, "COMSAT International's strong presence and reputation in key Latin American markets, its outstanding personnel and the quality of its network and its customers make this acquisition a key element of our Latin America strategy. We look forward to enhancing the business through acquisition of other complementary telecom operators, and deployment of new services and enhanced infrastructure. We are delighted to work with Lockheed Martin on this transaction."
While Lockheed Martin and World Data secure requisite regulatory approvals from U.S. and Latin American government bodies, COMSAT International will continue to function as a Lockheed Martin business. COMSAT International employs some 470 personnel in the U.S. and in six Latin American countries.
Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the Corporation's core businesses comprise systems integration, space, aeronautics and technology services. Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT:
Some of the statements in this news release are forward-looking and relate to anticipated future operating results or events. Forward-looking statements are based on Lockheed Martin Corporation management's current expectations and assumptions, which may be affected by subsequent developments and business conditions, and necessarily involve risks and uncertainties. Therefore, there can be no assurance that actual future results will not differ materially from anticipated results. Completion of the sale of the COMSAT International business is subject to government approvals, including filings with the Federal Communications Commission, foreign telecommunication regulators and foreign antitrust authorities and other closing conditions. In addition, readers should refer to Lockheed Martin's annual report for the year ending December 31, 2001 filed on Form 10-k and other disclosure documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov) for specific details on some of the factors that may affect operating results. Lockheed Martin expressly disclaims any obligation to update forward-looking statements.