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Providence acquires majority shareholding in Marlink for $1.4bn

Private equity firm Providence Equity Partners has agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in Marlink from Apax Partners. The transaction results in an enterprise value for Marlink Group of approximately $1.4bn; further details were not disclosed.

Apax will retain a significant minority shareholding. Marlink’s management team and investment house Ardian has also committed to minority interests.

Karim Tabet, senior managing director at Providence said: “We are pleased to be partnering with such an outstanding business, and, together with Apax and Ardian, we look forward to supporting Erik Ceuppens and his team as Marlink continues to be a market leader and seeks to capitalise on increased demand for higher bandwidth connectivity and digital solutions.”

Michaël Vervisch, managing director at Providence added: “We have been impressed by the company’s transformation into a branded broadband provider leveraging its own hybrid network and capturing scale benefits by taking a leadership role in the industry. Furthermore, we see significant future growth opportunities, including through offering value added digital solutions.”

Bertrand Pivin, partner at Apax Partners said: “Apax Partners first invested in Marlink 15 years ago. Under the leadership of Erik Ceuppens, the company transformed its business model, tripled its revenues and multiplied its EBITDA by 10. It emerged as the worldwide leading Satellite Service Operator, first in the maritime sector, and now, with the recent acquisition of ITC Global, in the enterprise sector. The 10,000-strong remote broadband terminals installed worldwide will serve as a springboard to design and deliver the much-needed digital services which Marlink’s direct customers are seeking for their business-critical operations. We believe Providence is the partner of choice to conduct the next stage of this extraordinary journey. Apax is keen to roll-over part of its investment and hold a significant fraction of the share capital, in order to continue to back this remarkable company.”

Erik Ceuppens, CEO of Marlink said: “We are delighted to partner with premier private equity investors Providence and Ardian as our new majority shareholders and to benefit from the continued support of Apax, our investor-of-the-first-hour. With our solid investor backing, management team and employees, we form a powerful force to take Marlink Group to the next level.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, subject to customary and regulatory approvals.

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