Airbus DS Communications—formerly Cassidian Communications—put on selling block
Less than two months after changing its name from Cassidian Communications, North American public-safety-communications vendor Airbus DS Communications is the subject of divestiture plans by its international parent company—Airbus Group—which has decided to focus its resources on aircraft-related industries.
Under the “portfolio optimization” plan unveiled last week, Airbus Defense and Space defined space (launchers and satellites), military aircraft, missiles and related systems and services as its future core businesses. Non-core businesses, such as Airbus DS Communications and other public-safety-communications units, have been “identified as divestment candidates, as they do not fit the strategic goals” and “will have better chances for growth and market success in different ownership structures,” according to an Airbus Defense and Space press release.
“This move is part of a global portfolio review that Airbus Defense and Space conducted and ultimately was part of a larger decision to focus on some core business areas,” Airbus Group spokesman James Darcy said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “It’s in no way a reflection on the success or the viability of the businesses that they are seeking to divest ultimately. It simply reflects a focus for the company.”
Airbus Group will solicit bids for Airbus DS Communications during a process that likely will last through the end of this year, with a hope of selling the public-safety communications company during the middle of 2015, according to Darcy. While still part of Airbus Group, products and services of Airbus DS Communications—perhaps best known for its VESTA/Sentinel series of 911 solutions—will be supported, he said.
“The one thing that the market can be assured of is the commitment to continuity,” Darcy said. “These are products that are going to continue to be in the market and are going to continue to be supported by a very dedicated group of professionals that want to see their customers succeed and feel that at a very personal level. That will continue to be the case as we go through this exploration of alternative ownerships ultimately as we go through a sale.”
Of course, after a sale of Airbus DS Communications is complete, there is no way for Airbus Group to guarantee what direction the company will take under new ownership, but common business practices would have new ownership wanting to support existing products and customers to maintain the value of the purchase, Darcy said.
“Obviously, we can’t speak on behalf of a potential future buyer,” he said. “However, it’s clear that the value of this company is based in those superior technologies and in the people who support them.”
Making organizational transitions has been a familiar occurrence to longtime employees at Airbus DS Communications during the past several years. In 2008, EADS North America purchased PlantCML, and the merged company was renamed Cassidian Communications in 2011. In August of this year, the company name was changed from Cassidian Communications to Airbus DS Communications.