Apr. 14, 2014, 2:28 PM
- Titan Aerospace, once rumored to be in Facebook's crosshairs, has been acquired by Google (GOOG +0.8%).
- The Information previously reported of Google's interest in Titan. The Web giant plans to have Titan's drones (the Solara 50 and Solara 60) complement Project Loon, which aims to provide 3G-or-faster Web access via hot-air balloons to areas lacking connectivity. Google might also have Titan support its Makani unit, which is working on airborne wind turbines.
- Facebook, for its part, is looking to connect offline regions with the help of its Connectivity Lab and recently-acquired U.K. drone startup Ascenta.
- Titan's 20-employee team will remain at its New Mexico HQ. In addition to providing voice/data services, Titan asserts its drones will be able to collect high-res imagery and sport atmospheric sensors (possibly of value for Google Maps). It expects individual drones to support up to 1Gbps of bandwidth.
- UAV maker AeroVironment (AVAV +0.7%) has turned positive on the news.
Mar. 4, 2014, 9:20 AM
- TechCrunch reports Facebook (FB) is in talks to buy Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones that can fly for five years without having to land. The acquisition price is said to be $60M.
- Facebook reportedly wants to use Titan's drones to offer Web access (presumably including Facebook services) to unconnected parts of the world, beginning in Africa. It would start by making 11K of Titan's Solara 60 drones.
- Mark Zuckerberg has been heavily promoting his Internet.org initiative to carriers and fellow tech giants, and has suggested the WhatsApp acquisition complements this effort.
- TechCrunch's report comes eight months after Google unveiled Project Loon, an initiative meant to provide 3G or faster Internet speeds to "rural, remote, and underserved areas" via hot-air balloons.
- If a Facebook/Titan deal provides a lift to UAV stocks the way the Google/Boston Dynamics deal gave a lift to robotics stocks, AeroVironment (AVAV) could get a boost.
- Update: A source tells CNBC Facebook will buy Titan for $60M.
Aug. 20, 2013, 4:02 PM
Jul. 17, 2013, 12:31 PM
AeroVironment (AVAV +12.3%) issues a response to Engaged Capital's earlier announcement of a 5.1% stake in the company, saying it welcomes open communications with all of its stockholders and values their input towards the goal of enhancing stockholder value. The company notes that the board regularly evaluates its capital structure and capital allocation priorities, and is confident that its strategy best positions AVAV to compete effectively and deliver superior returns.| Jul. 17, 2013, 12:31 PM
Feb. 6, 2012, 11:08 AMGoldman Sachs raises its rating on AeroVironment (AVAV +3.9%) to Buy from Neutral, noting the company's "high potential" as a merger and acquisition candidate, above-average returns on capital, exposure to growth markets such as UAVs and electric vehicle battery charging, and an attractive valuation. | Feb. 6, 2012, 11:08 AM | 1 Comment