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UK Regulator Approves Viasat’s Bid for Inmarsat

Marathon or steeplechase? Actually, this race is a bit of both.

Viasat’s $7.35 billion bid to acquire Inmarsat is a feat of endurance as well as an exercise in clearing hurdles.

Eighteen months have elapsed since Viasat (NASDAQ: VSAT) publicly announced plans to acquire the London-based satellite communications company.

The Carlsbad-based company got over one more hurdle earlier this month, when a regulatory body in the United Kingdom gave the acquisition its unconditional clearance.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a final report on the matter May 9, focusing its attention on competition in the supply of broadband in-flight satellite connectivity. Such connectivity is the main area of overlap for the two companies in the United Kingdom.

Mark Dankberg
Chairman and CEO
Viasat

“We’re delighted with the CMA’s decision to unconditionally clear the deal to acquire Inmarsat, as it represents a critical step in securing final approvals to complete this transaction,” said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of Viasat.

“The decision validates our position that the combination of our two companies will strengthen competition in a dynamic market that continues to attract substantial levels of investment and enables us to offer better services to our customers. Additionally, this deal will also create new high-skill technology jobs, deepen Viasat’s capabilities in the U.K., and ultimately help to deliver the goals of the U.K.’s National Space Strategy. I appreciate the extensive review by the CMA to review this transaction and thank them for their efforts.”

The regulator gave the deal provisional approval on March 1.

The regulatory agency’s final report noted that a new player – Starlink – is gaining strength in the in-flight connectivity market. Starlink is a project of privately held SpaceX.

The proposed transaction has now received clearance from the U.K. government under the National Security and Investment Act and the CMA, as well as the Australian government’s Foreign Investment Review Board and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

ViaSat-3 in Position

Separately, Viasat has been working behind the scenes following the launch of its ViaSat-3 Americas satellite on April 30. The company announced on May 16 that the satellite reached geostationary orbit, some 22,236 miles above the equator.

The business still has more work to do before the high-capacity communications satellite can launch service in the North and South American markets. Two more satellites in the ViaSat-3 constellation will follow, one serving the Europe, Middle East and Africa market and the other serving the Asia Pacific region.

Viasat

FOUNDED: 1986
CEO: Mark Dankberg
HEADQUARTERS: Carlsbad
BUSINESS: Broadband services and technologies company
REVENUE: $2.8 billion in fiscal 2023
STOCK: VSAT on NASDAQ
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 7,000 worldwide
WEBSITE: www.viasat.com
CONTACT: 760-476-2200
SOCIAL IMPACT: 1 in 6 Viasat employees volunteered or gave to charitable organizations in fiscal 2022
NOTABLE: Viasat has pledged to do several things benefiting the U.K. economy and its space sector, including leveraging the U.K. supply chain, creating jobs and increasing R&D spending in the U.K.

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