New Leading Global Communications Innovator

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New Leading Global Communications Innovator

Global communications company Viasat Inc., and provider of global mobile satellite communications services Inmarsat announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Viasat will acquire Inmarsat. The transaction is valued at $7.3 billion, comprised of $850.0 million in cash, approximately 46.36 million shares of Viasat common stock valued at $3.1 billion based on the closing price on Friday November 5, 2021, and the assumption of $3.4 billion of net debt.

The new combination creates a leading global communications innovator with enhanced scale and scope to affordably, securely and reliably connect the world. The complementary assets and resources of the new organization will enable the availability of advanced new services in mobile and fixed segments, driving greater customer choice in broadband communications and narrowband services – including IoT. The combined company intends to integrate the spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of both companies into a global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network. It will be capable of delivering superior services in fast-growing commercial and government sectors. This advanced architecture will deliver higher speeds, more bandwidth, greater density of bandwidth at high demand locations like airport and shipping hubs and lower latency at lower cost than either company could provide alone.
The combined company will be able to offer:

  • A broad portfolio of spectrum licenses across the Ka-, L- and S-bands and a fleet of 19 satellites in service with an additional 10 spacecraft under construction and planned for launch within the next three years.
  • A global Ka-band footprint, including planned polar coverage, to support bandwidth-intensive applications, augmented by L-band assets that support all-weather resilience and highly reliable, narrowband and IoT connectivity.
  • The ability to unlock greater value from Inmarsat’s L-band spectrum and existing space assets by incorporating Viasat’s state-of-the-art beamforming, end-user terminal and payload technologies and its hybrid multi-orbit space-terrestrial networking capabilities.
  • Viasat’s highly vertically-integrated technology and service offerings, along with Inmarsat’s extensive eco-system of technology, manufacturing and service distribution.

This is a transformative combination that advances our common ambitions to connect the world. The unique fusion of teams, technologies and resources provides the ingredients and scale needed for profitable growth through the creation and delivery of innovative broadband and IoT services in new and existing fast-growing segments and geographies,

said Viasat’s Executive Chairman Mark Dankberg.

Inmarsat’s dual-band global mobile network, unique L-band resources, skills and capabilities in the U.K. and excellent technical and operational talent worldwide, are powerful complements to Viasat’s business. Together, we can advance broadband communications and create new hybrid space and terrestrial networks that drive greater performance, coverage, speed, reliability and value for customers. We look forward to welcoming the Inmarsat team into the Viasat family.

Joining with Viasat is the right combination for Inmarsat at the right time,

said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat.

Viasat is a terrific innovator and Inmarsat brings some powerful additions: global reach, a broad distribution channel, robust business momentum and a presence in highly attractive global mobility segments. Together, the two companies will create a new global player with the scale and scope to help shape the future of a dynamic and growing industry. The combination will create a strong future for Inmarsat and be well-positioned to offer greater choice for customers around the world, enhanced scope for partners and new opportunities for employees. The industrial logic is compelling and ensures that the U.K. has a strong and sustainable presence in the critical space sector for the long term.

Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s president and CEO added,

This strategic move gives Viasat the scale to increase the pace of innovation that drives new and better services for our customers, broadens the opportunities for our employees and provides a foundation for significant positive free cash flow, with potential upside from a revitalization of L-band and IoT service growth. Plus, we will have expanded scale and presence in the $1.6 trillion broadband and IoT sectors. I’m excited about the opportunities ahead and looking forward to setting up the combined organization for long-term success.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Viasat and Inmarsat. In addition, The Baupost Group, L.L.C., Viasat’s largest shareholder, has agreed to vote in favor of the transaction. At the closing of the transaction, Viasat intends to expand its board of directors from eight to ten members, with Andrew Sukawaty, current chairman of Inmarsat, being appointed as one of the two new board members. A second new board member will be appointed at transaction closing by the current Inmarsat shareholders.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2022, subject to the approval of Viasat stockholders, the receipt of certain regulatory approvals and clearances and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Author: Rainer Claaßen
Image Credit: Inmarsat

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