A private equity-led consortium agreed to buy Inmarsat Opens a New Window.Plc for about $3.4 billion in cash Opens a New Window.after the British satellite operator last year rebuffed a slightly lower bid from U.S. rival EchoStar.
The consortium includes UK-based Apax Partners, U.S.-based Warburg Pincus and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.
Inmarsat shareholders will get $7.21 cash, or 546 pence per share. Inmarsat’s shares were up 8.5 percent at 549 pence by 0910 GMT, just above the offer price.
A takeover of the company could be closely scrutinized by the British authorities because of Inmarsat’s position as a strategic asset.
The company was the first international satellite operator to be privatized, and Apax was part of the group that invested in 2003, before taking it public two years later.
The offer comprises cash of $7.09 for each share plus a previously agreed final dividend of $0.12 per share, representing a nearly 45 percent premium to Inmarsat’s close on Feb. 27, a day before media reports said EchoStar was expected to renew its interest in the company.
Inmarsat is a long established provider of communication services to shipping and sees a growing opportunity to supply in-flight broadband services to commercial aircraft.