Inmarsat receives $3.3b buyout bid

21 Mar 2019

Satellite operator Inmarsat is in talks to be acquired by a consortium of private equity investors in a deal worth $3.3 billion.

UK-based Inmarsat is still negotiating with the consortium members over the possible takeover and a binding offer has not yet been received. But the preliminary offer involves cash payment of $7.21 per share.

The consortium, which includes Apax Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board and Warburg Pincus International, has until April 16 to submit a binding offer or decline to make one.

The $3.3 billion offer price is only marginally higher than the price offered by US-based satellite provider EchoStar during its takeover bid for Inmarsat in July last year, which was then worth $3.25 billion.

At the time, Inmarsat's board rejected the offer on the ground that it “very significantly undervalued Inmarsat and its standalone prospects.”

But Bloomberg notes that Inmarsat's share price has been barely changed over the intervening time – until the price was lifted by takeover speculation - and UK-based stocks have been struggling recently due to public investors' concerns over Brexit. The publication attributes these factors to Inmarsat's decision to come to the negotiating table this time.

The deal values Inmarsat at around $6 billion, and represents a 34% premium on the company's average share price over the past three months.

Image credit: iStock photo

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