Astrium, an EADS (EUR:EAD) subsidiary has entered into an agreement to acquire Vizada from Apax France, a French Private Equity fund and the majority shareholder, for $ 960 million. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Vizada is a leading independent provider of global satellite-based mobility communication services, serving customers across sectors including maritime, aero, land, media, NGO (non-governmental organizations) and government/defence. Via all satellite network operators, it offers mobile and fixed connectivity services both directly and through a distribution network of over 400 re-sellers. Vizada has over 200,000 users around the world. Vizada is present in five continents with over 700 employees. Vizada expects to generate around $ 660 million in revenue and $ 95 million EBITDA in 2011.
The growing demand for maritime services is a perfect cornerstone for Astrium to develop its commercial Satellite Communications (SatCom) business. Vizada is one of the leaders in such services for which there is a clear market demand. This also offers multiple development potential in the various sub sectors such as commercial, fishing, leisure and military. Vizada also serves other market verticals such as media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), mining and governmental sectors.
Vizada has built up sizeable business with the US Government and is a major supplier for the US Government aero services. In 2011, Vizada was awarded a General Service Administration (GSA) Schedule 70 Future Commercial Satellite communications (COMSATCOM) Services Acquisition (FCSA) contract to provide MSS (mobile satellite services) access for the US government and military customers. The French and German armed forces are other major government customers.
EADS Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Marwan Lahoud said: “Further to the recent acquisitions of Vector Aerospace in Canada and Metron in the U.S., as well as the on-going public offering for Satair in Denmark, this acquisition marks a further step towards the realisation of EADS’ Strategy to balance platforms with Services, develop business in North America and diversify its workforce. This is a significant milestone in making Vision 2020 a reality. This is clearly an accretive transaction for EADS shareholders and will generate significant synergies.”
Eric Béranger, CEO of Astrium Services said: “Vizada being a world leader in commercial satcom services is the perfect complement to our existing satellite communications portfolio which is heavily focused on governmental and secure civil satcom. Bringing Vizada together with Astrium will enable us to be more innovative, diversifying our range of services and providing our customers with greater flexibility”.
The acquisition will broaden the range of services offered globally by EADS strengthening the group presence across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the United States.
Astrium Services covers Telecom Services, Secure Satcom Systems, and Geo-Information Services. Vizada will become a fourth business line within Astrium Services enabling the continued diversification of Astrium’s customer base, and providing a complete range of fixed, handheld and mobile solutions across both secure commercial and military-hardened satcom networks. Astrium Services and Vizada teleport infrastructures will be combined to serve all customers in the most remote areas, offering a global coverage and seamless connectivity.
Vizada is the leading independent provider of global satellite-based mobility services. The company, which was formed by the merger of Telenor Satellite Services and France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications, offers mobile and fixed connectivity services from multiple satellite network operators through a network of 400 service provider partners. These services are packaged with Vizada Solutions™, designed to add business value to basic connectivity, and delivered through Vizada’s global teleport network – six state-of-the-art satellite facilities strategically positioned around the world. Vizada works with the broadest range of network providers in the industry, including: Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya, Eutelsat, Intelsat, Loral, New Skies, and SES Americom. Vizada’s 200,000 end users benefit from access to these satellite communications services wherever they are in the world. End users include: merchant shipping vessels, emergency response organizations, government and military units, global media companies, telecoms & internet service providers, and business, military and civil aviation.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.
Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2010, Astrium had a turnover of €5 billion and more than 15,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and Astrium Services for comprehensive end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcom and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.
Specific Note Regarding EADS N.V. Forward Looking Statements
This news release may contain certain information that constitutes forward looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements are based on EADS’ and Astrium’s current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections related to the operating environment, economies and markets in which EADS and Astrium operate; their financial condition and their general business. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on certain factors and assumptions and are subject to important risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements herein may differ materially from actual results or events. While EADS and Astrium consider the assumptions on which these statements are made to be reasonable, based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect and readers are cautioned, therefore, not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements.
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