Inmarsat shareholders back $3.4 billion takeover

LONDON (Reuters) - Investors in Inmarsat voted on Friday to sell the British satellite firm to a private equity-led consortium for $3.4 billion following a recommendation from the company’s board that the offer was fair and reasonable.

Nearly 79 percent of shares voted supported a so-called scheme of arrangement for the takeover by a consortium comprising UK-based Apax Partners, U.S.-based Warburg Pincus and two Canadian pension funds, Inmarsat said.

Inmarsat’s board recommended the $7.21 per share cash offer in March, saying that although it was confident in the long-term prospects of the company, it would take time for the investment needed in its satellite networks to deliver returns.

The consortium said it was attracted by Inmarsat’s long-term contracts to supply communications to governments and other customers, such as major shipping companies, and it saw considerable potential for Inmarsat’s growing business providing broadband connections to airlines.

Inmarsat’s shares were trading up 1.1 percent at 536 pence ($6.98) after the vote.

Subject to conditions, the scheme is expected to become effective in the fourth quarter of 2019, Inmarsat said.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Mark Potter