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Private Equity Firm Providence in Talks to Acquire Marlink 

By | August 9, 2021
shipping maritime Marlink

Photo: Marlink

Private equity firm Providence Equity Partners is in talks to acquire satellite service provider Marlink. The companies said in a Monday announcement that any transaction would be subject to customary and regulatory approvals. Terms of the deal in the works were not disclosed. 

Marlink is currently owned by European private equity firm Apax Partners, which acquired the company from Airbus in 2016. Marlink is headquartered in Paris and Oslo, and is known for providing satellite services to maritime customers in shipping and cruise. 

This move comes after Marlink acquired ITC Global in May of this year. ITC Global expanded Marlink’s portfolio in the energy and mining sector, with a focus on energy and high-end customers who need complex managed network solutions. 

Josh Flood, who runs the maritime research division at Valour Consultancy, said this acquisition does not come as a surprise given the amount of acquisitions and financial restructuring in the maritime connectivity sphere. 

“Most private equity firms operate on a four to five year cycle, and Apax Partners is likely looking to capitalize on Marlink’s incredible performance over the past several years, particularly over the 2020 pandemic,” Flood commented to Via Satellite. “It’s possible the firm’s maritime business may have slowed down a touch this year and the new potential owner will likely spur Marlink on further as it looks to increase profitability in its services and also bring ITC Global and other new customers into its business.” 

Flood predicts a strong performance from Marlink in the second half of the year. 

There have been a number of reorganization moves in the satellite service provider landscape in the past year, beyond the Marlink update. Speedcast, which serves energy as well as maritime customers, went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and came out under new ownership, and Viasat acquired oil and gas service provider RigNet. In the aviation sector, Global Eagle, has rebranded as Anuvu, and Intelsat acquired and absorbed Gogo’s commercial aviation business.