American satellite giant completes acquisition of UK based satellite operator, 18 months after first announced following clearance of all regulatory hurdles
The acquisition completes the merger of two of the largest satellite operators, both of whom have been under pressure from Starlink’s expansion into the satellite market. Viasat founder Mark Dankberg will lead the combined company as chairman and CEO, with former Verizon Media executive Guru Gowrappan as president, while Inmarsat CEO Rajeev Suri will step down from his role and serve on Viasat’s Board of Directors.
Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of Viasat, commented: ‘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. Together, we believe we are positioned to offer customers a multi-layered network that gives them the right connectivity at the right time, place and price.’
The closing of the Inmarsat acquisition enables the companies to bring together spectrum, satellite, and terrestrial assets, including 19 satellites in space spanning Ka-, L- and S- bands. These complementary assets are expected to deliver connectivity and key safety services across maritime, aviation, government and consumer markets with speed and reliability of connection front of mind.
The acquisition was subject to a lengthy approval process, with both the UK and EU regulatory bodies approving the merger earlier this year. Under the terms of the deal, Inmarsat’s shareholders received an aggregate of $551 million in cash and approximately 46.36 million shares of common stock. The cash portion of the purchase price was reduced from $850 million to $551 million after Inmarsat paid a $299 million special dividend to its shareholders in April 2022.
The shares issued to the Inmarsat shareholders at the closing represent an aggregate of approximately 37.6% of the total shares of Viasat common stock on a fully diluted basis.
Viasat drew down approximately $1.35 billion of its committed financing package, including a $617 million secured term loan facility and a $733 million unsecured bridge loan. Viasat said the lower financed amount reflects the reduction in the cash component of the purchase price.
“Our goal is to be the undisputed leader in satellite communications with a sharp focus on providing the best products and services for our customers,” said Gowrappan. “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. 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.”