Richmond, B.C. - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that it has been informed that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will not refer the transaction to the U.K. Competition Commission. This clears the way for MDA and PropertyFlow to merge their retail search business of authoritative property information, in anticipation of the mandatory Home Information Pack (HIP) introduction by mid 2007. The transaction, which will approximately double MDA's retail search business in the UK, is valued at an initial payment of £12 million and several contingent payments based on future performance and it is expected to close in the next few weeks.
The companies will merge their electronic search businesses (trading as SearchFlow and Transaction Online), as well as their personal search businesses (trading as Property Search Agency and MDA Searches). This will provide a full-scale nationwide property search capability that can respond to just about any request for conveyancing information on properties in England and Wales. The merged company intends to continue marketing all four current brands, and to seek feedback from its customers prior to any adjustments to its offerings. Mark Riddick, current CEO of PropertyFlow will head the merged company.
"This move significantly strengthens our retail property search business in the U.K.," said Daniel Friedmann, President and CEO of MDA, "as we will be serving all customer segments with a more comprehensive full-scale electronic nationwide search service." Added Mark Riddick, CEO of PropertyFlow, "This merger provides a great platform to offer the market an independent source of property search information, which can now focus on providing the improved efficiency, consistency and speed required of the search business in the HIP era."
MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.
Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of earth and space based information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.
MDA employs more than 2,700 people in locations across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.
PropertyFlow Ltd. provides a full range of conveyancing searches and also operates one of the largest NLIS Channels. PropertyFlow trades under the names of SearchFlow and the Property Search Agency.
This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. with respect to future events and financial performance. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and MDA's actual results of operations could differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Additional information on these and other potential factors that could affect MDA's financial results are detailed in documents filed from time to time with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.