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Viasat Closes Inmarsat Purchase; Mark Dankberg Quoted

Viasat (Nasdaq: VSAT) has closed its acquisition of U.K.-based satellite communication services provider Inmarsat as part of a move to bring additional satcom offerings to the government and other sectors.

“The combination of our companies brings together the people, technology, innovation, network assets, spectrum resources and global partnerships needed to help connect the world more affordably, securely and reliably,” Viasat Chairman and CEO Mark Dankberg said in a statement released Wednesday.

Dankberg and Viasat President Guru Gowrappan will remain in their roles as they lead the combined company.

In November 2021, Viasat agreed to buy Inmarsat in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $3.9 billion, plus $3.4 billion in assumed net debt, to build a global hybrid network for government and enterprise communications.

The completion of the acquisition came days after a consortium of shareholders that bought Inmarsat in 2019 nominated CEO Rajeev Suri and Chairman Andrew Sukawaty to serve as members of the board of directors of Viasat upon the merger’s closing.

On May 25, the Viasat-Inmarsat combination met the final regulatory requirement with the issuance of unconditional clearance by the European Commission for the $7.3 billion transaction. 

At the closing of the deal, Inmarsat’s shareholders secured an aggregate of $551 million in cash and about 46.36 million shares of common stock. The shares issued to shareholders at the transaction’s closing account for approximately $37.6 percent of the total shares of Viasat common stock on a fully diluted basis.

In April 2022, shareholders at Inmarsat received special dividends worth $299 million, reducing the purchase price’s cash portion from $850 million to $551 million.

PJT Partners acted as Viasat’s financial adviser, while Latham & Watkins and Linklaters served as legal advisers.

Barclays, J.P. Morgan Securities and Trinity Advisers advised Inmarsat on the deal’s financial aspect, while Kirkland & Ellis, Clifford Chance and Steptoe & Johnson acted as legal advisers to Inmarsat and its majority shareholders.

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