ViaSat Inc. said on March 6 that it closed its joint venture with Eutelsat Communications, originally announced in February 2016.
ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT) acquired 49 percent of Eutelsat’s wholesale business for 132.5 million Euros, or about $140.5 million at current exchange rates.
The partners will have two businesses. The wholesale business serving the European continent and Mediterranean will continue. Eutelsat (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) provides its Ka-Sat satellite to the partnership.
Carlsbad-based ViaSat brings its expertise as an internet service provider to the table. The two companies plan to introduce a consumer broadband business — owned 51 percent by ViaSat — in Europe. The partners said they plan to introduce the service in select countries beginning this year. The move provides “a foundation for growth in the retail services business with the availability of future satellite capacity,” the partners said in a statement. ViaSat plans to launch a cluster of satellites called ViaSat-3 which will serve practically the entire globe by the early 2020s.
The ViaSat/Eutelsat joint venture will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland.