Astrium acquires Vizada from Apax France

Posted: 10th August 2011 09:45

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, nongovernmental 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.



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