Calian Group buys Quebec-based antenna systems provider in $22M deal

Kevin Ford
Kevin Ford is CEO of Calian Group. File photo

Coming off a busy 2020 that saw it acquire six companies as part of its aggressive M&A strategy, Calian Group wasted no time closing its first transaction of 2021.

The Kanata firm said Monday it’s acquired antenna systems provider InterTronic Solutions in an all-cash deal that could be worth up to $22 million if the Quebec-based firm hits its earnings targets. 

Calian paid $13 million up front for InterTronic, which employs about a dozen people and specializes in high-performance ground satellite technology for customers in the aerospace, defence and satellite communications sectors. Among its high-profile clients is perhaps the biggest fish in the aerospace pond, NASA.

“We’re starting off the new year with a bang,” Calian CEO Kevin Ford said Monday. “It’s all part of the big plan. It really does diversify our customer base in North America. We love that.”

Ford said the transaction brings a firm with a proven track record of delivering cutting-edge satellite technology under the Calian umbrella, boosting the company’s engineering bench strength while adding new products to its growing inventory.

Deep-space radar tech

Calian already produces carbon-fibre antennas, but the Quebec firm makes larger systems that are used in applications such as deep-space radar, Ford noted.

“They punch way above their weight,” he said of InterTronic, which will be integrated into Calian’s advanced technologies division and will continue to operate in Vaudreuil-Dorion, just west of Montreal. 

“I’m amazed by the size of projects they take on. Now they have a $400-million publicly traded entity behind them so they can start going after those larger deals that have been on their radar.”

After generating record revenues of $432 million in fiscal 2020, Calian is off and running in its pursuit of Ford’s stated goal of double-digit growth once again this year. 

The InterTronic deal is one more piece of the puzzle as the firm ​– which offers a diverse range of services that includes operating medical clinics and running military training exercises while also providing IT consulting, mobile wireless products and other technology ​– chases its revenue target of between $450 million and $490 million for fiscal 2021.

“Hopefully, we can continue to do what we’ve been doing,” Ford said.