A SCI-FI fan who sold his home to reach for the stars is to receive a multi-million pound windfall after Scotland’s first satellite manufacturer was bought by a Swedish rival for £26 million.

Craig Clark gambled on making money in the global commercial space race after he launched Glasgow-based ClydeSpace more than a decade ago, selling micro-satellites with £20,000 from from his home sale.

The Maryhill firm is a leading player in the fast-growing global satellite industry with millions of pounds of orders for the equipment from Nasa, the UK Space Agency and the US Air Force.

It has been bought out by AAC Microtec, which has its headquarters in Uppsala, near Stockholm. Mr Clark will gain shares and cash worth around £8m, whilst keeping a stake with other shareholders in the new group.

The takeover provides a stunning endorsement for Mr Clark’s ambitions after he claimed to have been told by people that he would never make money from the satellite industry.

HeraldScotland:

ClydeSpace has supplied 2,000 of its CubeSats and power systems for use on small spacecraft in tasks ranging from monitoring bush fires to sending communications signals.

Last year, it made 60 satellites in Scotland.

The company also provides launch services and operates a ground station that can process huge amounts of information gathered by its satellites.

Mr Clark said the deal with AAC would provide a great platform for growth for ClydeSpace. The firm will remain based in the city where it employs 77 people.

He said: “With our combined resources, know-how and pools of highly competent individuals, we will jointly be able to boost the creation of innovative technology and products, and continue to lead the way in the most commercially interesting segments of the satellite market.”

AAC said Clyde Space’s strong brand name in the “New Space” market, leading position in the CubeSat segment, high level of expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and commercial success will form a cornerstone of the group.

“We are very excited to welcome the talented and highly innovative Clyde Space team. Together, our companies secure a leadership position in the CubeSat market and can claim a strong position in the high-reliability small satellite segment,” said Rolf Hallencreutz, chairman of AAC.

The deal is a coup for Nevis Capital the Milngavie-based investment firm, which provided funding to help Mr Clark achieve his growth ambitions. Metals entrepreneur Hugh Stewart also provided backing.

Sci-fi fan Mr Clark went into satellite technology after studying electronic engineering at Glasgow University. He began his career at Surrey Satellite Technology.

In 2013, he told The Herald how he sold his home in Surrey to pay £20,000 for branding, shortly after his wife Lynn had given birth to their first child.

Within two weeks, Mr Clark was touting his idea at a space conference in Japan, but faced scepticism.

He added: “There was no space industry in Scotland. When you think about space, you think of Nasa and the Apollo mission, and the European Space Agency always get a bit annoyed no-one knows who they are. I had people saying you’ll never make money, you should focus on something else.”