Inmarsat agrees £2.6 billion takeover

British satellite communications specialist Inmarsat will be taken private by a consortium of international investors in a deal worth £2.6 billion.

The group is led by the private equity firms Apax and Warburg Pincus, becoming the latest UK technology business to be sold to investment companies.

The group, which calls itself Triton Bidco is a consortium made up of London-based Apax, New York-based Warburg and two Canadian pension funds, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

They to buy the FTSE 250 Company for £5.46 per share in cash. A premium of 46 per cent over the closing price on 30 January 2019, a day before the offer was submitted.

Helal Miah, an investment research analyst at the Share Centre, said: “As one of the few large technology groups left in the UK and one that is of strategic and security importance, the Government has previously mentioned that these businesses could be protected from overseas takeovers.

“This became an issue when ARM Holdings was taken over immediately after the EU referendum in 2016. But, given how distracted we are with Brexit, could we actually be losing control of key companies rather than ‘taking back control?’”

The investor group said it would keep Inmarsat’s headquarters in the UK and maintain the company’s spending on research and development. Inmarsat employs 800 people at its base at Old Street roundabout in London, out of a 2,000-strong global workforce.

Inmarsat, which has 13 satellites in orbit, provides communication services for ships and the consortium pledged to ensure that the company would fulfil its obligations under the global maritime distress and safety system.

It has struggled in recent years, however, and faces increasing competition from rivals including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and the Richard Branson-backed OneWeb, which last month launched its first six satellites into space.

Nigel Fry, Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “The acquisition of Inmarsat by Triton Bidco has helped to secure their financial future, whilst maintaining their presence in the UK market by keeping their headquarters in this country.

“If you are considering a merger or acquisition in the near future, then it is important that you seek specialist advice to discuss the options available to you.

For more information about how Milsted Langdon can help, please contact Nigel at nfry@milstedlangdon.co.uk or by calling 01823 445 566.

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