DULLES, Va., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell 12.35 million shares that it holds in its MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. subsidiary (Toronto: MDA) to a Canadian investment group for approximately $111 million. In addition, Orbital also has the option to sell its remaining 5.65 million shares. Estimated proceeds from the sale of all 18 million shares would be at least $163 million. The Canadian investment group includes CAI Capital Partners and Company II, L.P., British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board. The transaction has been approved by Orbital's Board of Directors and is subject to certain U.S. and Canadian regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Orbital expects to complete the 12.35 million share initial transaction by mid-May. The buyers have until May 31, 2001 to exercise their option to purchase the remaining 5.65 million shares of MDA. Orbital plans to use the proceeds from the MDA transaction to reduce debt and boost cash reserves to fund working capital and for other general purposes.

"This agreement is a major step forward in Orbital's 'back-to-basics' strategy that focuses our full attention on the company's core space technology business, and in our campaign to strengthen our financial structure," stated Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"Together with last year's sale of our Fairchild Defense subsidiary and initial public offering of MDA's stock, this divestiture will allow us to substantially reduce outstanding debt and improve overall liquidity. At the same time, the transaction will broaden MDA's public investor base in Canada, adding strong institutional shareholders who can support its continued growth in advanced information-based systems and products," he added.

MDA is Canada's leading space and information systems company and is the world's primary supplier of space robotics technology. It employs approximately 1,800 people at major facilities in the Vancouver and Toronto areas, as well as at other Canadian and international locations.

Orbital is one of the world's leading manufacturers of low-cost space systems, including satellites, launch vehicles, electronics and sensors, and satellite ground systems. Orbital is also involved with satellite-based networks that provide wireless data communications and high-resolution Earth imagery to customers all around the world.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com .

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528, or
beneski.barron@orbital.com; or Investors: Tim Perrott, 703-406-5997, or
perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation.

SOURCE Orbital Sciences Corporation

CONTACT: Media: Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528, or beneski.barron@orbital.com; or Investors: Tim Perrott, 703-406-5997, or perrott.tim@orbital.com, both of Orbital Sciences Corporation/