Marlink has agreed to sell a controlling stake to Providence Equity Partners for $1.4 billion, valuing the maritime connection specialist at $1.4 billion. Providence is purchasing the stake from the Apax Partners, which is a French private equity firm that is going to retain key minority ownership.
Marlink that buys capability on terrestrial and satellite networks to link remote activities for energy, humanitarian, maritime, enterprise, and government customers, initiated exclusive talks with the two private equity groups in August. In a September 13 release, Marlink’s management group and Ardian, which is another French private equity group, indicated they would keep minority holdings in the company.
Other financial information was withheld. Since Apax Partners first invested in Marlink 15 years ago, sales have tripled, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) has increased ten times, according to Bertrand Pivin, who is a partner at the Apax Partners.
Marlink, based in France and Norway, was purchased from Airbus in the year 2016 for an undisclosed value by Apax Partners. To expand its business, Marlink purchased enterprise-focused satellite solutions vendor ITC Global in April 2021. “The 10,000 remote broadband terminals deployed throughout the world will serve as a springboard for designing and delivering the much-required digital services that Marlink’s direct clients are demanding for their mission-critical operations,” Pivin stated in a statement.
“We believe Providence represents the best partner for the next step of this incredible journey. Apax is eager to roll over a portion of the investment and retain a major portion of the stock capital in order to continue supporting this extraordinary company.” Following regulatory as well as other customary clearances, they intend to close the acquisition in the first part of next year.
This year, the agreement is the newest in a series of significant changes in the satellite communications solutions market. Marlink’s counterparts Speedcast and Anuvu — previously Global Eagle Entertainment — also emerged from bankruptcy in March 2021 with stronger balance sheets.
Providence Equity Partners L.L.C. is a private equity firm based in the United States that invests in education, software, media, communications, and services. Since its founding in 1989, the business has invested in over 200 companies worldwide, specializing in leveraged buyouts and growth capital investments.
Apax Partners LLP, based in London, England, is a UK private equity firm. Mumbai, Tel Aviv, New York, Hong Kong, Munich, and Shanghai are among the company’s six additional offices. Since 1981, the firm has successfully raised $51 billion (USD) through different predecessors as of December 2017. Apax Partners, the fourteenth biggest private equity firm globally, is among the oldest and largest international private equity firms.