Geo Week News

September 11, 2012

Hexagon acquires minority stake in another service provider


STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Hexagon announced this week that it will acquire 10 per cent of the shares in North West Geomatics Ltd. Also known as North West Group, the company provides aerial data acquisition services to engineering and mapping firms, environmental consulting organizations, and government agencies.

Hexagon reports that North West houses “the single largest library of high-resolution imagery and lidar data in Canada,” and that the company participates in “large-scale aerial data collection projects throughout the US and across the globe.”

The investment is similar to the one Hexagon made earlier this year in Blom ASA, another service provider with a large storehouse of imagery and aerial lidar data. In an interview with reporters at the Hexagon conference earlier this year, Hexagon president and CEO Ola Rollén said Hexagon isn’t concerned that investments in service providers would set the company up as competition to its customers. He said the company was interested in building “relationships with collectors of data” and sees that “we need a network of partners that are flying and collecting data and then we can buy that data from them and maybe store it centrally to do all sorts of applications that we’re planning to do.”

This new investment would seem to further that goal of building relationships with those collecting large amounts of data that could be centrally stored.

Rollén hinted at a possible data-as-a-service offering in the future.

In a statement accompanying news of the investment, Rollén said, “this alliance further underscores our commitment to redefine the geospatial eco-system and provide new dimension to the industry overall. Already a longstanding partner of Leica Geosystems and Intergraph, the expanded alliance with North West undoubtedly strengthens the utility and relevance of our current offerings and our continued ability to meet the ever-increasing needs of our geospatial customer base with industry-leading solutions.”

For North West’s part, president and CEO Fred Welter was quoted in the release saying, “North West looks forward to continuing our long standing relationship with Hexagon Geosystems and assisting them in building their geospatial customer base.”

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