Viasat and Inmarsat reach UK expansion agreement ahead of merger

Viasat and Inmarsat reach UK expansion agreement ahead of merger

Rick Baldridge Viasat.jpg

Viasat and Inmarsat have agreed to combine to increase R&D spend in the UK space sector.

The deal will see the provision of skilled jobs in areas including the design and development of satellites, ground stations and other advanced technologies.

Overall R&D spending in the country will increase by 30% with the creation of a new R&D facility.

US satellite firm Viasat announced it would be buying its UK-based rival Inmarsat for $7.3billion in November and the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022.

The deal, though, remains subject to regulatory processes.

"We are fully committed to ensuring that our combination with Inmarsat supports the UK's National Space Strategy with additional investment and job creation," said Rick Baldridge, president and CEO of Viasat.

"I am confident that together we can build upon the UK's space agenda and help propel the country to the forefront of the global space race.

"I want to thank the UK government for their engagement and look forward to a productive relationship for decades to come."

The deal will create a UK board of directors with approval authority over strategic decisions for Inmarsat and establish the global international business headquarters of the combined company in London.

Additionally, the deal will maintain core satellite, network and cybersecurity operational capabilities while also ensuring that Inmarsat’s fleet will be owned by a UK company.

Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, added: "With this agreement, the combination of Inmarsat and Viasat will result in more highly-skilled jobs and R&D investment in the UK than Inmarsat could achieve on a standalone basis.

“This milestone is a great step for the UK and while they certainly have challenged us to put our best foot forward, I am delighted they have accepted our economic Deed of Undertakings.

Viasat adds that it will continue with its previously announced plan to invest £300 million in the UK over a 10-15 year period with a minimum of £75 million within five years after the closing of the transaction.

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