Intelsat buying Gogo commercial aviation business

Combination brings together largest satellite network and provider of in-flight connectivity

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(IMAGE: Shutterstock)

Use this oneIntelsat, operator of the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructure, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the commercial aviation business of Gogo, the largest global provider of in-flight broadband connectivity, for US$400 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments. The transaction further propels Intelsat’s efforts in the growing commercial in-flight connectivity market, pairing its high-capacity global satellite and ground network with Gogo’s installed base of more than 3,000 commercial aircraft to redefine the connectivity experience.

Gogo’s commercial aviation business provides Intelsat with key airline relationships and customer-facing capabilities, including a leading software platform, ISP and network management infrastructure. It currently serves 21 commercial airlines, including nine of the top 20 global carriers.

This transaction will combine Intelsat’s next-generation high throughput space assets with Gogo’s 2Ku antenna to uniquely position Intelsat to deliver more cost-effective and advanced commercial aviation broadband connectivity services. Passengers will benefit from an enhanced in-flight connectivity experience that delivers fast and reliable video streaming, browsing and cloud-based applications from gate to gate. Airlines can expect a fully integrated platform offering high reliability, flexibility and passenger satisfaction.

Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. (PHOTO: Intelsat)

“Consumer demand for in-flight connectivity is expected to grow at a double-digit rate over the next decade, notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19. The addition of Gogo’s commercial aviation business provides compelling strategic value for our stakeholders and makes strong commercial sense,” said Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler. “Gogo’s business is a perfect fit with Intelsat’s expansive satellite network and infrastructure due to the breadth of Gogo’s technological solutions, global reach and operational excellence.”

Intelsat, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganisation this year, intends to fund the transaction using its existing debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing facility and cash on hand. Intelsat’s DIP lenders have agreed to amend the DIP credit agreement to facilitate the transaction, and Intelsat’s key economic stakeholders support the transaction. On 31 August, the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, approved Intelsat’s consummation of the transaction. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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