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Harbinger, SkyTerra return for Inmarsat

28 июля 2008

Inmarsat PLC's U.S. hedge fund suitor Friday returned to the table just four days after the U.K. satellite communications company said talks had ended, although any deal is likely to take up to 18 months.

SkyTerra Communications Inc. and its largest shareholder, Harbinger Capital Partners Funds, said they intend to make a takeover offer for Inmarsat, but that they would try to get regulatory approval first.

Any tie-up would require approval from a raft of regulators, most notably in the U.S where SkyTerra's Mobile Satellite Ventures holds mobile licenses which are used primarily for public safety, security, fleet management and asset tracking in the
U.S. and Canada.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will look into the change of control of licenses owned by the companies, a process which is expected to take even longer than usual as commission appointments are made by the government and could change following U.S elections later this year.

Dresdner Kleinwort analyst John Davies said a deal is ultimately likely, but that during the 18-month regulatory hiatus things could change materially which makes valuing any deal problematic.

In light of this, Davies believes the best way to value the company is on a standalone basis; Dresdner has a discounted cash flow standalone valuation of 490p for Inmarsat and a hold rating on the stock.

Inmarsat responded to the approach by saying it remains "highly" confident in its standalone prospects, but intends to maintain a constructive relationship with the
U.S. companies through the regulatory review process and will carefully consider any offer that would maximize value for its own shareholders.

Inmarsat provides satellite telephony and e-mail services to the broadcasting, shipping and airline industries and was bought by a consortium of private-equity firms for $1.5 billion in 2003.
It went public in 2005.

Harbinger, along with an affiliate, owns 48.43 of SkyTerra and has the right to own 60.90% of the voting stock.
Harbinger's stake in SkyTerra will increase if the Inmarsat deal goes through because the stake in Inmarsat that it already has would be transferred to SkyTerra.

At 1123 GMT Inmarsat shares were up 2.01% or 9 pence at 470p, against a 1.95% decline in the FTSE 250.

Источник: Total Telecom

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