Viasat Inc. will acquire mobile satellite communications supplier Inmarsat in a transaction valued at $7.3 billion, the companies announced.
The transaction includes $850 million in cash, approximately 46.36 million shares of Viasat common stock valued at $3.1 billion and the assumption of $3.4 billion of debt.
Viasat Executive Chairman Mark Dankberg described the deal as a “transformative combination.”
“The combination will create a leading global communications innovator with enhanced scale and scope to affordably, securely and reliably connect the world,” the companies stated in the announcement.
“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 the Internet of Things or ‘IoT’).”
They said Viasat intends to integrate the spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of the two entities into “a global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network, capable of delivering superior services in fast-growing commercial and government sectors.”
“This advanced architecture will create a framework incorporating the most favorable characteristics of multi-band, multi-orbit satellites and terrestrial air-to-ground systems that can 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.”
Assets of the combined companies will include spectrum licenses across the Ka-, L- and S-bands, a fleet of 19 satellites and 10 more planned for launch in the next three years. They cite 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.”
They also expect to get more value out of Inmarsat’s L-band spectrum and space assets by incorporating Viasat’s beamforming, end-user terminal and payload technologies and its hybrid multi-orbit space-terrestrial networking capabilities.
Inmarsat is based in the United Kingdom while Viasat is headquartered in California.
Viasat said it plans to build on Inmarsat’s presence there and “is committed to preserving and growing the investment of the combined company in U.K. space communications, as well as supporting the recently published National Space Strategy.” It plans to keep Inmarsat’s London headquarters “as well as its footprint in Australia and Canada and across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.”