Sunday 23 September 2018

Inmarsat rebuffs £2.45bn takeover proposal by US rival

It is the second offer by Echostar to be rejected by the UK satellite firm.

US satellite firm Echostar has make a second approach to Inmarsat (PA)
US satellite firm Echostar has make a second approach to Inmarsat (PA)

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association Chief City Correspondent

British satellite firm Inmarsat has rejected a second takeover approach by US rival Echostar in a deal that would have valued the business at £2.45 billion.

Echostar confirmed on Friday that it put forward a “new and improved proposal” earlier this week which offered shareholders 265p per share in cash and an exchange of 0.0777 Echostar stock for each Inmarsat share.

But that sweetened deal was rebuffed by Wednesday, nearly a month after Echostar’s initial approach was rejected on the basis that it “very significantly” undervalued the business.

The terms of the first proposal have not been disclosed.

Echostar has not yet given up hope, saying it “continues … to seek engagement with the board of Inmarsat on a constructive basis, with a view to agreeing the terms of a recommended transaction”.

The company is now seeking an extension of a deadline that requires it to table a firm proposal by 5pm on Friday July 6.

EchoStar believes a combination of EchoStar and Inmarsat is strategically compelling

“EchoStar believes a combination of EchoStar and Inmarsat is strategically compelling,” its market statement said.

“The combined group would be one of the world’s leading satellite providers and be well supported by a global portfolio of complementary assets and service offerings.

“EchoStar believes that the improved proposal presents a compelling opportunity for Inmarsat’s shareholders to realise certain value from their investment in Inmarsat while also participating meaningfully in the upside potential of the combined company.”

The US company dodged a takeover battle when European satellite operator Eutelsat Communications last week confirmed it would not make a rival offer for Inmarsat.

It came just days after Eutelsat said it was considering a possible bid.

Press Association

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