Satnews Daily
December 31st, -0001

Inmarsat + Ship Equip Int'l... Acquiring Minds Wish To Know...

[SatNews] A leading provider of VSAT maritime communications services now has a new owner...

Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT.L) has acquired Ship Equip International A.S. ("Ship Equip") for a total consideration of USD 159.5 million. Based in Norway, Ship Equip offers services to the shipping, offshore oil & gas and fishing markets. James Parm, President and CEO of Stratos, said, "We are delighted to welcome Ship Equip and their management team into the Inmarsat group. Ship Equip is ideally positioned to support the evolution of certain segments of the maritime market to higher speed services – especially those to be offered by Inmarsat’s revolutionary Global Xpress™ program after its launch in 2013. Ship Equip is the perfect partner for Inmarsat, bringing a large installed base of maritime VSAT customers, who we expect to be in the forefront of the transition to Global Xpress services, and a management team with extensive knowledge of VSAT operations and customers, to help us ensure that Global Xpress is a compelling proposition for the maritime community. This acquisition demonstrates our clear determination to prepare the way for a fast and successful take up of Ka-band services via Inmarsat Global Xpress.’’

Ship Equip's expertise in developing and deploying VSAT communications solutions to key verticals in the maritime market, coupled with its worldwide committed capacity arrangements and installed base of over 850 vessels (as at December 2010), have made it a leader in the evolving VSAT maritime communications market. In 2010, Ship Equip generated revenues of USD 56 million (NOK 312 million). "We are excited to be joining forces with Inmarsat, and we are convinced the combination will be the perfect platform for reaching the next level in satellite broadband maritime services," said Ivar Nesset, CEO of Ship Equip. "This transaction will enhance Ship Equip's standing as one of the largest providers of satellite broadband maritime communications solutions and provide an exciting long-term service proposition for our customers."

Ship Equip is to be acquired by Inmarsat Solutions Limited and will operate as a separate subsidiary alongside the Stratos and Segovia businesses. Closing of the transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals which are expected to be completed in a matter of weeks. Inmarsat expects to finance the transaction from current available liquidity.