French Satellite-Services Specialist, CLS Acquires Woods Hole Group

CLS, a leading French satellite-services specialist, subsidiary of the French Space Agency (CNES), ARDIAN (an independent investment company) and IFREMER (the French research institute for exploitation of the sea) announces the acquisition of Woods Hole Group, an American company specialized in sustainable and resilient solutions for coastal sciences and engineering, applied ecology, oceanography and measurement systems.

By acquiring Woods Hole Group, CLS, specialized in environmental monitoring, can now offer complete solutions including field equipment and services, data analysis, modeling, environmental assessment and related expertise to its customers. CLS thus confirms its position as a leading international player in environmental services.


CLS, a worldwide company, united by a vision: imagine and deploy space-based solutions to understand and protect our Planet for a sustainable management of its resources, has acquired Woods Hole Group, Inc., a US-based and internationally operating organization with complementary environmental, scientific, and engineering consulting services. CLS has a workforce of 650 employees, present in 26 sites around the world through subsidiaries and offices. CLS is active in 6 strategic sectors: Environmental Monitoring, Sustainable Management of Fisheries, Maritime Surveillance, Energy & Mining, Fleet Management and Space & Ground Segment. CLS provides satellite–based services for geopositioning and environmental data collection (data from 80,000 transmitters are processed each month: drifting buoys, animals, fishing and merchant ships, etc.). It also observes oceans and inland waters (more than 20 instruments carried on satellites send information from the oceans to CLS on a daily basis), and monitors terrestrial and maritime activities (CLS processes more than 10,000 radar images each year.

Woods Hole Group

Woods Hole Group is a complementary, multi-disciplinary organization. Oceanographers focus on port, harbor, and ocean measurement systems and design criteria studies, while ecologists perform ecological risk, vulnerability, and environmental impact assessments. Coastal scientists and engineers develop turnkey engineering designs for wetland habitat restoration and shoreline protection, while incorporating resilient adaptations for managing future risk. Emerging services and technologies include computer models simulating dynamic sea level rise and overland storm inundation risk, along with real-time ocean observation systems delivering data from remote sites to the desktop. The company has a strong reputation for high quality services, a dynamic team ethic, and strong technical capabilities.

Joined Forces

Christophe Vassal, CEO of CLS : “We have great expectations regarding the success of the future services that will benefit from the synergy between CLS and Woods Hole Group. We have complementary products, solutions and services. While Woods Hole Group brings expertise in coastal and ecological expertise, and sub-surface measurement systems, CLS offers 30 years of experience in ocean surface observation, data collection, data processing and data dissemination. We are already strongly involved in measuring the impact of climate change (calculation of sea level rise, observation of a changing ocean, tracking of mishandled fauna) and we complete this observation by the local and coastal climate change modeling expertise of Woods Hole Group. This fusion of capabilities meets CLS and Woods Hole Group client needs which are increasingly demanding. With Woods Hole Group, the expanded CLS Group offers unique capabilities to meet Client needs.”


Woods Hole Group employs just under 50 people with 2016 sales of nearly $10M. CLS has a turnover of $120M in 2016 and plans to increase it to more than $135M in 2017. The group, which has been achieving strong growth in recent years, has set ambitious goals to pursue developing new markets with CLS.

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