Telenor of Norway and Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications
(LMGT) announced that Telenor will acquire LMGT's COMSAT Mobile
Communications operations for $116.5 million in cash. The acquisition, which positions Telenor as a major global satellite mobile operator, is subject to regulatory approvals. COMSAT Mobile, with annual revenues in excess of $100 million, provides global mobile communications solutions to the maritime, land mobile and aeronautical communities, and offers data, voice, fax, telex and video capabilities via the Inmarsat satellite constellation.
Telenor's purchase of COMSAT Mobile operations also includes two earth station facilities in Southbury, Connecticut, and Santa Paula, California. Linking the two U.S. stations with Telenor's existing earth station in Eik, Norway, will enable Telenor to offer true global coverage for satellite mobile communication services. Following the transaction, Telenor will be one of the leading Inmarsat global operators. Additionally, in September 2000, Telenor purchased a portion of LMGT's Inmarsat shares to become the largest owner of Inmarsat, holding the maximum permitted stake of 15 percent.
Stig Eide Sivertsen, CEO of Telenor Broadband Services, said, "Our strategy has been to expand our position as a provider of global mobile satellite communications. Coupled with our strong presence in Europe, this acquisition will allow us to globalize our service offerings and give our customers the benefit of Inmarsat services on a worldwide basis from a single service provider. We expect this acquisition to enhance our operational efficiency and to further expand our already wide range of services."
John V. Sponyoe, CEO of LMGT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation said, "This transaction is a positive step in the strategic direction of LMGT, and it is consistent with steps to reshape our portfolio of assets to obtain maximum value for Lockheed shareholders.
While the two companies pursue requisite regulatory approvals from the U.S. government, a process expected to be completed over the next several months, COMSAT Mobile will continue to operate as an LMGT business unit. Upon completion of the transaction, COMSAT Mobile will become a key part of the satellite mobile division of Telenor Broadband Services AS, operating through its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Telenor Satellite Mobile Services, a Delaware corporation. Telenor Broadband Services AS is one of four core business areas within the Telenor Group
. Telenor is a worldwide provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services, with a particularly strong focus on mobile, Internet and broadband services