Apax Partners and Altamir Amboise are exiting their investments in satellite communications service provider Vizada, selling the company to European aerospace group EADS for $960 million. Vizada was formed in 2007 through various carve-outs and build-ups led by Apax. The company provides mobile satellite communications technology aimed at sectors including maritime, aero, media and government.
Apax Partners, the leading French private equity firm, has entered into an agreement, jointly with Altamir Amboise, to sell their entire stake in Vizada to Astrium, an EADS subsidiary, for a total consideration of $960 million. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. It may have a positive impact of around €0.75 on Altamir Amboise’s Net Asset Value.
Vizada is a leading worldwide provider of mobile satellite communications solutions, serving customers across sectors including maritime, aero, media, NGO (non-governmental organizations) and government/defense.
The company was created through a combination of carve outs and build ups led by Apax Partners. In October 2006, funds managed by Apax Partners acquired France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications (FTMSC), a France Telecom subsidiary generating $200m in revenues. In September 2007, Apax funds acquired Telenor Satellite Services (TSS) from Telenor, the Norwegian telecom operator. Both companies were then combined to form Vizada. A new organization was set up with a lean group holding setting the strategy and building upon existing management teams and business units. The newly formed company embarked on an ambitious development plan and its business grew significantly throughout Apax ownership.
Today, via all leading satellite network operators, Vizada offers mobile and fixed connectivity services both directly and through a distribution network of over 400 resellers. Vizada has over 200,000 end users around the world. It is present in five continents with over 700 employees.
Vizada has become the world leading provider of maritime satellite communications services, for which there is a growing demand and multiple development potential in various subsectors such as commercial, fishing, leisure and military. The company has also built up sizeable businesses with European and US Governments, and is, in particular, a major supplier of aero services to the US Government.
Vizada expects to generate around $660m in revenues and $95m in EBITDA in 2011.
Bertrand Pivin, Partner at Apax Partners, said: “For Vizada, this strategic combination with Astrium is the “perfect match” which is the starting point of a new and exciting development era under the umbrella of EADS. It has been a stimulating journey since the carve out of FTMSC, a non-core subsidiary of France Telecom specialised in mobile satellite communications. Vizada’s management effectiveness and employees’ skills, as well as capital, sector knowledge and resources deployed by Apax Partners, led to a 3-fold increase in revenues and a 7-fold increase in Ebitda. This striking growth results from a combination of organic growth, transforming build ups and continuous operational improvements in an attractive sector undergoing major technology shifts. It is representative of Apax Partners France’s investment strategy.”
This transaction is the third successful exit of Apax Partners and Altamir Amboise in the telecom sector over the last two months, after the sales of Prosodie and Outremer Telecom.
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.
For additional information, see: www.vizada.com
About Altamir Amboise
Altamir Amboise is a listed private equity company, targeting NAV per share growth.
Until the end of 2010, Altamir Amboise co-invested with the funds managed by Apax Partners, a leading private equity firm with over 30 years of investing experience. Since 1 January 2011, Altamir Amboise invests directly in funds managed by Apax Partners, in particular the Apax France VIII fund.
Altamir Amboise offers investors access to a diversified portfolio of fast-growing companies, across Apax’s sectors of specialisation: Technology, Telecoms, Retail & Consumer, Media, Healthcare, and Business & Financial Services.
Altamir Amboise is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris, Compartment B, ticker: LTA, ISIN code: FR0000053837. It is listed in the CAC Small (ex CAD Small 90) and CAC All-Tradable (ex SBF 250) indices. The total number of Altamir Amboise ordinary shares in circulation at 31 March 2011 was 36,512,301.