Government clears £2.6 billion Inmarsat acquisition

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the £2.6 billion private equity takeover of the satellite company, Inmarsat.

The deal is the second-largest public to private deal ever made in the UK and has been cleared following an investigation by the CMA.

Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus and two Canadian pension funds formed a consortium to agree on the acquisition of the satellite communications company, which provides services for aircraft, shipping and Governments around the world.

The Government’s official website stated: “The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nicky Morgan, today announced that she has accepted statutory undertakings from the parties involved in the proposed acquisition of Inmarsat plc by Connect Bidco Limited and that the acquisition will not, therefore, be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority for a phase 2 inquiry under the Enterprise Act 2002.”

The Government said that the undertakings provided assurance that sensitive information was protection, and enhanced security controls were in place to ensure that the supply of key services that are used by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will continue.

Inmarsat has previously been subject to several takeover offers, with a £3.2 billion offer from the US satellite company Echostar being tabled early this year, while an offer from the French business Eutelsat failed to materialise.

Nigel Fry, General Practice Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “This is a noteworthy deal, and if completed it will become the second-largest public to private deal ever in the UK. It has been a protracted process to receive clearance from the Government as the company’s involvement in the supply of services to the MoD was a key concern for the CMA and the Government.

“For advice on matters relating to mergers and acquisitions, contact our expert team today.”

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