Luxempart acquired a minority stake (<10%) in 2016 and will reinvest a portion of its proceeds alongside the management team and new controlling shareholder, the company said. “The selling shareholders will retain a strong minority position alongside Providence in the new transaction,” it said.
The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 but remains subject to regulatory approval. The partial exist will generate immediate cash proceeds in excess of €25m (net of reinvestment) for Luxempart, confirming an internal rate of return above the company’s long-term target of 12-15%.
"Luxempart strongly believes in the further development potential of Marlink,” the company said in a statement. Marling is a leader in providing satellite communications focusing on maritime and remote land communication services.
Five years after Marlink was bought from Airbus for an estimated valuation of €400-450m, the purchase of a majority stake by US-based Providence Equity Partners puts the valuation at $1.4bn.
"Marlink offers a comprehensive set of smart network solutions combining the entire spectrum of satcom and terrestrial connectivity, IT, Cloud, cyber security and IoT managed services," said Karim Tabet, CEO of Providence. "We are pleased to be partnering with such an outstanding business, and, together with Apax and Ardian, we look forward to supporting Erik Ceuppens and his team as Marlink continues to be a market leader and seeks to capitalise on increased demand for higher bandwidth connectivity and digital solutions."
Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm specialising in the media, communications, software and services sectors, is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, with offices in New York and London. It controls approximately $45bn in total capital commitments.
"Apax Partners first invested in Marlink 15 years ago. Under the leadership of Erik Ceuppens, the company transformed its business model, tripled its revenues and multiplied its EBITDA by 10. It emerged as the worldwide leading Satellite Service Operator, first in the maritime sector, and now, with the recent acquisition of ITC Global, in the enterprise sector. The 10,000-strong remote broadband terminals installed worldwide will serve as a springboard to design and deliver the much-needed digital services which Marlink’s direct customers are seeking for their business-critical operations. We believe Providence is the partner of choice to conduct the next stage of this extraordinary journey. Apax is keen to roll-over part of its investment and hold a significant fraction of the share capital, in order to continue to back this remarkable company,” said Bertrand Pivin, Partner at Apax.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.