Inmarsat, provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has announced the acquisition of the business and substantially all of the assets of Globe Wireless. Headquartered in Palm Bay, Florida, Globe Wireless is a provider of value-added maritime communications services to the shipping market.
The acquisition of Globe Wireless is driven by multiple strategic benefits:
• Access to a skilled engineering team that will significantly expand Inmarsat’s installation capabilities and enable a faster roll-out of both XpressLink (“XL”) and Global Xpress® (“GX”) to the maritime market, both through its already well-established channel partnerships and direct to end-users;
• The acquisition of a portfolio of industry-leading value-added services (“VAS”) for maritime customers that will jump-start Inmarsat’s ambitions to move beyond pure connectivity and offer solutions and managed services to the maritime market, both through its channel partners and direct to end-users, that will be relevant to both L-band and GX customers;
• The immediate opportunity to offer the Globe Wireless VAS range to Inmarsat’s entire installed base of maritime customers, both through its channel partners and direct, enabling further ARPU (average revenue per user) growth that might otherwise have taken years to develop through in-house development of an equivalent product range; and
• Significant operational synergies identified through immediate integration with Inmarsat’s maritime business unit, and which are expected to deliver a material improvement in profitability within the first year.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, commented: “This is a highly compelling transaction for Inmarsat”.
Mr Pearce highlighted a range of important strategic benefits associated with the acquisition. These included the opportunity to swiftly deliver significantly improved financial performance through synergies. He said that rapid take-up and a growing backlog for XpressLink, had pushed Inmarsat near the limit of its existing engineering capability to meet the demand from our channel partners and customers.
He added: “Adding the Globe Wireless team will immediately bring material benefits, enabling a faster roll-out of XL, FleetBroadband and transition to GX in due course. We are also acquiring a skilled and established solutions development team that has been responsible for a market-leading portfolio of value added services”.
Mr Pearce concluded: “Accessing this portfolio offers a truly exciting cross-selling opportunity for our channel partners and ourselves, across the entire Inmarsat installed maritime base. This is a transaction that both accelerates our longer term strategic aims and can deliver meaningful contribution in the short term.”
Frank Coles, President of Inmarsat Maritime, commented: “Globe Wireless has created a suite of products and value added services that are unequalled in the market today, and by combining this with our FB and GX services, we believe we can further enhance our position as the leading provider of services to the maritime customer”.
He said that the team at Globe Wireless will bring a highly unique set of skills and abilities, ranging from software development, direct relationships with customers through a skilled sales team, and provide ‘touch the ship’ support and installation capabilities. He continued: ” We will be making these capabilities immediately available to our channel partners via our global network and wholesale support environment, strongly enhancing the Inmarsat Maritime proposition into the market”.
Coles believes that through integrating these VAS, installation and support capabilities into the Inmarsat Maritime business unit, Inmarsat will be able to offer a completely unique managed service to its channel partners.
Mr Coles said: “Our purchase of Globe Wireless also removes the need for partners to invest the time, funds and other resources in duplicative R&D”.
Inmarsat will acquire the business of Globe Wireless for a total consideration of US$45 million and will fund the acquisition from available liquidity. In the twelve months ended June 30, 2103, Globe Wireless generated revenues of US$91 million and currently has an installed customer base of over 6,000 ships. Closing of the transaction is subject to certain regulatory and other approvals, which are expected to be completed in January 2014.