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European defence group’s unit buys satcom firm

Leinden, The Netherlands: Astrium, an EADS subsidiary entered into an agreement to acquire Vizada from Apax France, a French Private Equity fund and the majority shareholder, for USD 960 million. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. 
Vizada is a leading independent provider of global satellite-based mobility communication services, serving customers across sectors including maritime, aero, land, media, NGO (non-governmental organisations) and government/defence. The company is present in five continents with over 700 employees. Vizada expects to generate around USD 660 million in revenue and USD 95 million EBITDA in 2011. On the other hand, EADS is an European defence and aerospace group.
The growing demand for maritime services is a perfect cornerstone for Astrium to develop its commercial Satellite Communications (SatCom) business. Vizada is one of the leaders in such services for which there is a clear market demand. This also offers multiple development potential in the various sub sectors such as commercial, fishing, leisure and military.
Vizada has built up sizeable business with the US Government and is a major supplier for the US Government aero services. In 2011, Vizada was awarded a General Service Administration (GSA) Schedule 70 Future Commercial Satellite communications (COMSATCOM) Services Acquisition (FCSA) contract to provide MSS (mobile satellite services) access for the US government and military customers. The French and German armed forces are other major government customers.
Source: EADS