MDA shares fall on uncertainty around Loral deal

Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:07pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA.TO: Quote) fell 6 percent on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Justice cast fresh doubt on its plans to acquire the satellite manufacturing arm of Loral Space & Communications Inc LORL.O.

The two companies late on Wednesday disclosed that the U.S. regulator had asked for additional information on the proposed deal, a move that analysts argue potentially jeopardizes both the timing of the deal and the likelihood of its closing.

The $875 million deal, struck in June, is seen enhancing Macdonald Dettwiler's position in the communications arena and creating potential for increased business with both commercial and government clients.

"We believe both sides are motivated to close on a transaction, but the DoJ delay adds great uncertainty," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Steve Arthur in a note to clients.

The regulator's so-called "second request" prompted RBC to lower its rating on MacDonald, Dettwiler to "sector perform" from "outperform." Arthur, who sees the deal facing a delay of four to six months, slashed his price target on MDA's shares to C$54 from C$72.

"At the very least, it potentially pushes out the timing of the closing of the transaction into 2013, as we believe the request will require some time on MacDonald Dettwiler's part to fully understand the nature of the request and gather the necessary information for review," said Cormark analyst Richard Tse in a research note.

Shares of MacDonald, Dettwiler were down C$3.22 at C$50.60 by midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha)