On January 31, 2013, Hemisphere GNSS (“Hemisphere”), a subsidiary of Beijing UniStrong Science & Technology Co. (“UniStrong”), purchased the Precision Products business and related GNSS technology and intellectual property from Hemisphere GPS (TSX: HEM). In a related press release, Hemisphere GPS has announced the intention to change its company name to AgJunction. As part of the transaction, Hemisphere acquired the entire high-precision GNSS product lines, all related intellectual property rights and the Hemisphere GPS trademarks and brands. Hemisphere will operate its business headquarters out of Scottsdale, Arizona and will maintain its operations in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Phil Gabriel has been appointed President of Hemisphere GNSS Inc. and will also serve as a board member. Phil has over 15 years of experience with Hemisphere GPS, serving for the past 6 years as the Vice President and General Manager of the Precision Products business. “We are truly excited about our future growth prospects as a fully focused GNSS products and technology provider,” said Phil Gabriel. “I would like to assure all our global distribution partners, suppliers and customers that it remains business as usual as we take our first steps forward with the strong backing of UniStrong.”
With this acquisition, UniStrong is expanding its capabilities in the high-precision GNSS business and also expects to promote commercial applications of China’s BeiDou Navigation System (BDS). UniStrong is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange under ticker 002383.
Business analysts have reported in China that this is the first acquisition of an internationally renowned enterprise initiated by a domestic enterprise in China’s satellite navigation industry and represents an important milestone in the development of the industry. “The acquisition will create an international route enabling UniStrong to expand its global business outlook, enhance our ability to attract international talent and lay the foundation for international growth and profitability,” stated Mr. Xingping Guo, President and CEO of UniStrong.
As part of the agreement, Hemisphere and AgJunction have formed a strategic alliance and a collaborative business relationship covering supply chain management, customer support, technology development and cross-licensing. "Having already established a relationship with UniStrong as one of our resellers made our new alliance a win-win for both parties," stated Rick Heiniger, president and CEO of AgJunction. "I am very pleased to be working together in this close technology-sharing relationship."
Hemisphere’s newly appointed Board of Directors brings additional GNSS industry experience to the company. The board is chaired by Jonathan W. Ladd, former President and CEO of NovAtel. Also joining the board is Werner Gartner, former Executive Vice President and CFO of NovAtel. “Hemisphere’s talented team will leverage its core GNSS capabilities and product marketing knowledge with UniStrong’s high quality, low cost GNSS product design and development resources,” added Mr. Ladd. “Hemisphere’s existing and future customers and partners will most certainly benefit from the resulting rapid, cost-effective product innovation across multiple product lines.”