Acquisition is claimed to bring together the world’s largest satellite network and the leading provider of commercial in-flight connectivity.
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,” according to a press statement.
Gogo’s commercial aviation business provides Intelsat with key airline relationships and customer-facing tech, including a software platform, ISP and network management infrastructure. Gogo currently serves 21 commercial airlines, including nine of the top 20 global carriers.
Cost-effective and advanced
Gogo’s 2Ku antennas will work with Intelsat infrastructure, promising more cost-effective and advanced commercial aviation broadband connectivity services that will support video streaming, browsing and cloud-based applications “from gate to gate”.
Airlines will be offered a “fully integrated platform offering high reliability, flexibility and passenger satisfaction”.
“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 CEO, 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 intends to fund the transaction using its debtor-in-possession 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 31, 2020, the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, approved Intelsat’s consummation of the transaction, which is expected to close before the end of Q1 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.