Google Inc. announced on its website that it is to purchase the satellite company Skybox Imaging Inc. in an all-cash deal that is estimated at 500 million dollars. According to the information published on the company’s website, the takeover is still subject to adjustments and is part of Google’s strategy to improve and expand Internet access around the world and consolidate its mapping services.
The company revealed in a publication on its website, which was cited by Bloomberg: “Skybox’s satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief – areas Google has long been interested in.”
Skybox Imaging Inc. is specialized in designing satellites that are able to collect photos and video of the Earth on a daily basis. The company was founded five years ago and according to some data from Dow Jones Venture Source it managed to raise 94 million dollars from its investors.
The satellite designer currently has about 120 employees and will initially work with the Maps unit of Google, which currently uses images from about 1 000 sources by taking advantage of commercially available satellite images, most of which are updated every few months or years.
The acquisition of Skybox Imaging Inc. is considered able to provide Google with access to a huge amount of data that would be added to its mass of personal information. The takeover is part of the company’s strategy to expand its reach over the globe and improve Internet access, using satellites, balloons and drones.
Recently, the search engine company has been concentrated on striking deals that would push its expansion into new markets and consolidate its traditional services, including search and mapping. However, making a breakthrough in Internet access is considered very beneficial for Google, because it will also help it increase its number of potential customers.
The president of satellite research company TMF Associates – Mr. Tim Farrar commented on the news for the Wall Street Journal, saying: “People want connectivity everywhere and images from everywhere in the world and you just cant do that as easily from the ground. Satellites will help Google reach remote mountains and dense jungles more easily, filling in the places where you cant justify building terrestrial networks.”
Google Inc. was 0.43% down to close at 568.30 dollars per share yesterday, marking a one-year change of +27.55%. According to the information published on CNN Money, the 41 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Google Inc have a median target of 660.00, with a high estimate of 750.00 and a low estimate of 525.00. The median estimate represents a +16.14% increase from the last price of 568.30.