What happened

Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) shareholders have had a miserable 2019, beginning with a January 7 sell-off on news that one of Maxar's satellites went defunct and ending with a stock down some 66% from its early January price by late March.

But there's good news, too!

Before it was too late, NASA stepped in to throw Maxar a lifeline in the form of a big contract to play a leading role in its Artemis moon project. And now Europe is lending a second helping hand -- in the form of a potential buyout.

Maxar stock is up 16.5% as of 10:45 a.m. EDT in response.

Sharks circle a boat.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

So what exactly is Europe doing to "help" Maxar? As Reuters reports today, Italian aerospace company Leonardo SpA and France's Thales SA are "considering" teaming up to buy Maxar's MDA space systems division -- for a price potentially reaching $1 billion or more.

Admittedly, as rumors go, this one may be too good to be true. After all, Maxar's entire market cap today is barely half that reported purchase price -- just $540 million. The chances of Leonardo and Thales being willing to pay twice what the market thinks Maxar is worth for only half the business (space systems accounts for roughly half Maxar's revenues, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, and far less than half the company's profits) seem slim.

Still, Leonardo's CEO confirms that the companies are in fact interested in buying MDA at some price.

Now what

Regardless of how accurate the price rumors are, investors are happy enough just to see that someone in the know thinks there's some value left to be had in Maxar. That alone seems to be enough to lift Maxar's stock price today -- and if the rumors prove to be anywhere close to accurate, Maxar's stock price could go up even more.