The Legault government reinvested $6 million in Northstar Seal et Terre, whose major shareholder is Charles Sirois, co-founder of the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ).
The government assistance is part of $48 million in financing, the closing of which Northstar announced Thursday.
The round was led by New York-based firm Cartesian Capital. Other Northstar stakeholders were also involved: the Sirois family, the Rogers family of Toronto and the Luxembourg government.
38 million dollars from governments already
So far, taxpayers have invested $38 million in Northstar: $26 million in 2018 (split between Quebec and Ottawa) and $12 million in 2021 (Quebec).
The $6 million the government just paid Northstar comes from “a $12 million envelope authorized in July 2021,” Finance Ministry spokesman Jean-Pierre d’Auteuil said Friday.
Northstar is billed as the first commercial company to monitor all near-Earth orbits. It aims to turn Montreal into a “space control tower” with data that will allow satellite operators to better manage their flights and avoid collisions.
If all goes to plan, Northstar’s first three UK-built satellites will be launched this year by Virgin Orbit, founded by British entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Last month, Northstar and competitors won contracts from the US Commerce Department for a pilot space traffic coordination project.
Northstar employs about 50 people at its offices in Montreal, Luxembourg and Virginia.
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