The partnership is between London-based Apax, New York-based Warburg and two Canadian pension funds, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. The partners aim to purchase the FTSE 250 company for $7.21 a share in cash.
The investors announced that they will keep Inmarsat's headquarters in the UK and maintain the company’s spending on research and development.
The deal follows nine months after Inmarsat denied an offer from its US rival EchoStar and reignites concerns over takeovers of leading UK technology businesses following Melrose’s controversial £8bn acquisition of the engineering company GKN and the £24bn takeover of smartphone chipmaker ARM Holdings by Japan’s SoftBank.
The Triton Bidco consortium explained that its purchase is based on the attractiveness of the satellite sector as an investment opportunity, with its unique characteristics, including long lead times and the need for deep technical expertise.
Andrew Sukawaty, non-executive Chairman of Inmarsat commented
The expertise and skills of our employees, together with continued investment in our technology and infrastructure, are integral to delivering on our growth potential. We are pleased that the Consortium recognises this and that we are able to present this offer to shareholders.
Inmarsat's groundbreaking satellite technology was also used in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014.
Inmarsat still provides communication services for ships and the consortium pledged to ensure that the company would fulfil its obligations under the global maritime distress and safety system.