Viasat completes Inmarsat acquisition


Viasat has completed the acquisition of Inmarsat in a multi-hundred-million-dollar deal. The global communications company said the merger will deliver improved connectivity and key safety services across the maritime, business aviation, government and consumer markets.

The consolidated connectivity company will be led by Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO, Viasat and Guru Gowrappan, president, Viasat. Rajeev Suri, CEO, Inmarsat and Andy Sukawaty, chairman, Inmarsat will join the Viasat board of directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Inmarsat’s employees, customers, shareholders and partners into the Viasat ecosystem,” said Dankberg. “The combination of our companies brings together the people, technology, innovation, network assets, spectrum resources and global partnerships needed to help connect the world more affordably, securely and reliably.”

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Inmarsat’s shareholders received around $551m in cash. This was reduced from $850m to $551m after Inmarsat paid a $299m special dividend to its shareholders in April last year.

Inmarsat shareholders also received about 46.36m shares of Viasat common stock, representing an average of around 37.6% of the total shares of Viasat stock. No Inmarsat shareholders were given shares that represent more than 10%.

The deal was financed with $1.35bn of Viasat’s committed financing package, including a $617m secured term loan and a $733m unsecured bridge loan.

With the deal now officially closed, Gowrappan said that the company’s goal is to be the undisputed leader in satellite communications.

We are more than the sum of our parts. This combination broadens the global fixed and mobile services available to customers in an industry-defining moment,” said Gowrappan. “We intend to move quickly to bring the best from each company together in a way that creates much deeper value for our stakeholders and ensures we deliver on our synergy commitments.”

Viasat also reconfirmed that its new global international business headquarters will be in London, UK.  The firm’s corporate headquarters remain in Carlsbad, California. Further decisions regarding organisational and leadership structure will be determined as part of the ongoing integration process.

George Freeman, Minister of State at the Department of Science, UK government highlighted the significance of the deal, noting that the connectivity sector brings significant investment, hundreds of new highly skilled jobs and will serve as a catalyst for economic growth.

“The combination of Viasat and Inmarsat creates a global leader in satellite communications here in the UK,” said Freeman. “Having met both companies, I look forward to working with them as we use the U.K.’s regulatory freedom and leadership to support advanced technologies to boost the space economy’s productivity, profitability and sustainability.”

PJT Partners served as financial advisors to Viasat, with Latham & Watkins and Linklaters acting as legal advisors. Barclays, J.P. Morgan Securities and Trinity Advisers were financial advisors to Inmarsat, with Kirkland & Ellis, Clifford Chance and Steptoe & Johnson serving as legal advisors to Inmarsat and its majority shareholders.