Inmarsat, a major supplier of international mobile satellite communications services, and Viasat, a worldwide communications company, have announced that the Australian Government’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has stated that it has no concerns about the intended merger of the two companies.
The proposed deal has already received numerous important regulatory approvals, most notably from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and from the UK Government under the National Security and Investment Act. The most recent permission for the deal is the FIRB’s clearance of Viasat’s proposed acquisition of Inmarsat under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act of 1975. Australia is a large market where the two businesses have substantial consumer and commercial ties.
Inmarsat and Viasat announced that they will merge their two businesses to become a new global communications powerhouse in November 2021. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.
Mark Dankberg, CEO and executive chairman of Viasat, said: “We’re delighted to secure approval from the Australian Government. The combined business will have the scale, deep engineering capabilities and scope to deliver leading technology and services for our customers in Australia and across the globe. Australia is well advanced as a space-faring nation and we are excited about the significant opportunities to support the growth of the Australian space sector, given the increased resources, unity of purpose and broader coverage the joint entity will have.”
Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, added: “Approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board is a welcome further endorsement of the sound competitive logic behind the transaction. Australia is an international market that is key to global advances and innovation in mobility. Their approval brings us one step closer to being even better placed to invest in the technologies required to compete in a fast-changing global satellite communications market undergoing profound changes.”