UPDATE 2-MDA sells property info business for C$850 mln

* Sells business to investment firm TPG Capital

* To pay 2011 dividend of C$1, eyeing its own buys

* Shares rise 2.7 percent
(Adds executive quotes, details, updates shares)

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, Nov 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Macdonald Dettwiler and
Associates (MDA.TO: ) has sold its property information business
to private investment firm TPG Capital for C$850 million ($850
million) and plans to use the cash to buy commercial assets.

The Canadian satellite and data distribution company,
famous for creating the robotic arm used on NASA space
shuttles, also said on Friday it would pay a dividend of C$1 a
share in 2011, in equal March and September installments.

“We determined that this business should operate under
separate ownership going forward if we could crystallize good
value,” MDA Chief Executive Dan Friedmann said in a statement
announcing the sale.

Shares in MDA were up 2.7 percent at C$51.93 on Friday
afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange after being halted
pending the news.

The property information business, which operates mostly in
the United States and Europe, provides data to insurance
companies, lenders and legal professionals, MDA said.

Shares in MDA soared last month on speculation the company,
which also provides surveillance services to governments and
the military, was for sale, but pared gains after a partial
denial. [ID:nN20237898]

Friedmann told an analyst conference call later on Friday
that the company, based in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond,
British Columbia, aggressively hawked the property information
business in a competitive process and was looking to buy
companies involving in commercial activities such as oil and
gas, mining and agriculture.

“We’re trying to get a bigger footprint in those markets
with companies that are entrenched in those markets,” he said.

The TPG Capital transaction is expected to close early next
year, pending regulatory approval.

In May 2008, the Canadian government blocked the proposed
sale of MDA, the only such rejection of a foreign takeover
prior to the government’s blocking of BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX: )
$39 billion bid to buy Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) this week.

Ottawa’s 2008 decision to block the sale to U.S. defense
company Alliant Techsystems (ATK.N: ) was widely seen as a move
to keep MDA’s core surveillance and information systems in
Canadian hands.

Friedmann said he did not expect any opposition this time
as the assets and jobs located in Canada were far below the
C$299 million threshold requiring federal approval.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as lead financial
adviser for MDA on the TPG Capital deal, while BMO Capital
Markets also provided financial advice.

The transaction has fully committed financing, combining
equity to be invested by TPG Capital and debt financing to be
provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets
and Highbridge Mezzanine Partners.

The fee in case the deal falls through is around C$40
million, Friedmann said.

($1=$1.00 Canadian)
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Rob Wilson)

UPDATE 2-MDA sells property info business for C$850 mln