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Inmarsat on New EchoStar Bid: “Very Significantly Undervalued”

By | July 6, 2018
Inmarsat

Inmarsat headquarters. Photo: Matt Biddulph (Flickr)

British mobile satellite operator Inmarsat has rejected a 2.45 billion pound ($3.2 billion) bid from U.S.-based satellite group EchoStar, stating that the offer “very significantly undervalued” the company and its standalone prospects. Echostar dropped the offer minutes before the formal deadline offer of 5 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) today.

EchoStar’s initial offer was made on June 8 for an undisclosed price. The operator then followed up with a revised bid on July 3, offering 265 pence and 0.0777 EchoStar shares per Inmarsat share – an implied 532 pence per share.

In a research note, Jefferies Equity Analyst Managing Director Giles Thorne said he wasn’t surprised that the revised offer was rejected. “[Due to] EchoStar’s evident unwillingness to bid-up in uncontested M&A, we could see EchoStar turn hostile in time,” Giles said.

EchoStar is unable to bid on Inmarsat for at least another six months, according to rules established by the U.K.’s Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) regulatory panel in 2011.

The value of Inmarsat shares dropped following news of the rejected acquisition bid. Yet, Inmarsat’s board remains confident in its independent strategy and prospects, “given our track record, unique capabilities, differentiated market position, and strong channels to market,” the company said in a statement. Inmarsat plans to publish its 2018 interim year results in August.

Echostar was unable to be reached for comment.

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