Viasat and Inmarsat reach agreement with UK on merger

Viasat and Inmarsat reach agreement with UK on merger

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Viasat and Inmarsat, the US and UK satellite communications groups, have agreed on a package of legally-binding economic undertakings with the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the proposed combination of the two companies. BEIS welcomed the constructive discussions that have taken place with both companies on their future plans and support for the UK’s National Space Strategy. The transaction remains subject to the regulatory processes of the UK.

“We are fully committed to ensuring that our combination with Inmarsat supports the UK’s National Space Strategy with additional investment and job creation,” said Rick Baldridge, president and CEO of Viasat. “I am confident that together we can build upon the UK’s space agenda and help propel the country to the forefront of the global space race. I want to thank the UK Government for their engagement and look forward to a productive relationship for decades to come.”

Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, added: “With this agreement, the combination of Inmarsat and Viasat will result in more highly-skilled jobs and R&D investment in the UK than Inmarsat could achieve on a standalone basis. This milestone is a great step for the UK.

The Deed of Undertakings provided to the UK Government includes undertakings ranging from three to five years in duration to:

Expand the number of highly skilled jobs in key areas, including the design and development of satellites, ground stations and other advanced space technologies;

  1. Increase overall R&D spending in the country by 30 percent and create a UK R&D Centre of Excellence;
  2. Maintain core satellite, network and cybersecurity operational capabilities in the UK;
  3. Ensure continued ownership of Inmarsat’s current satellite fleet by a UK company;
  4. Leverage the UK supply chain, particularly for delivery of national critical infrastructure;
  5. Preserve the use of the Inmarsat brand with a focus on the maritime segment;
  6. Create a UK Board of Directors with approval authority over key strategic decisions for Inmarsat Group entities; and
  7. Establish the global international business headquarters of the combined company in London.

Viasat will also continue with its previously announced plan to invest £300 million in the UK over a 10-15 year period, with a minimum of £75 million within five years after the closing of the transaction.

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