Viasat is to acquire Inmarsat in transaction valued at US$7.3 billion subject to regulatory approval.
The definitive agreement, which Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s President and CEO called “a major moment for in-flight connectivity and the satellite industry as a whole” during a conference call, is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2022.
Both companies are nearing the end of unusually capital investment cycle within the next 24-6 months. Inmarsat has recently launched its OneFi, ELERA and ORCHESTRA solutions while Viasat has invested in its business aviation services and is preparing for the launch of ViaSat-3 (Americas) which is expected to launch early calendar year 2022.
The combined company will make use of the interoperability opportunities offered by their respective network to offer customers greater choice, greater customer service through higher speeds, more bandwidth, greater density of bandwidth at high demand locations like airport hubs and lower latency at lower cost.
An advanced architecture will make use of multi-band, multi-orbit satellites and terrestrial air-to-ground systems through the fusion of complementary spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of both companies into a “global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network, capable of delivering superior services in fast-growing commercial and government sectors.”
The combined company will have a fleet of 19 satellites (10 Ka-, 8 L- and 1-S band) in service with an additional 10 spacecraft under construction and planned for launch within the next three years, including eight GEOs. The global Ka-band footprint, including Inmarsat’s planned polar coverage, will be augmented by a revitalisation of L-band assets that support all-weather resilience and highly reliable, narrowband and IoT connectivity.
“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 UK 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.”
During the period prior to the closing of the transaction, Viasat expects members of Inmarsat’s management team to continue to execute its strategy and provide leadership, in-depth industry knowledge and customer relationship support. Decisions regarding management of the combined company following the closing of the transaction will be made as part of the integration planning process.