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SpeedCast strengthens global stake in energy and maritime markets

SpeedCast strengthens global stake in energy and maritime markets

Three Australia-based firms have been involved in what is being touted as a “strategic infrastructure acquisition” for global communications provider SpeedCast.

Firms: Allens, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Goodwin Procter LLP (SpeedCast International Ltd); Gilbert + Tobin (joint lead managers: Credit Suisse and UBS)

Deal: A deal has been struck for SpeedCast to acquire Harris CapRock (CapRock). A fully underwritten $295 million accelerated renounceable entitlement offer will help finance the acquisition. 

Value: US$425 million (cash transaction)

Area: M&A, finance

Key players: The Allens team advising SpeedCast was led by partner Richard Kriedemann (pictured). Partner Robert Pick, senior associate Addison Ma and lawyer Melanie Hayden assisted.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth also advised SpeedCast on some aspects of the pending $425 million acquisition. The Corrs team was led by partner Thomas Jones and supported by special counsel Jennifer Dean.

The G + T team advising underwriters Credit Suisse and UBS was led by partner Adam D’Andreti. Senior lawyer Alastair Corrigall and associate Sean Meehan assisted on the deal.

Deal significance:

An agreement has been entered for ASX-listed SpeedCast to acquire commercial business Harris CapRock to the tune of US$425 million.

SpeedCast, a global satellite communications and network service provider, is using the acquisition to develop its global product offering.

CapRock mainly services maritime and energy market customers with communications networks for “remote and harsh environments”.

To help fund the acquisition, Credit Suisse and UBS have fully underwritten a $295 million accelerated renounceable entitlement offer. The balance of the offer is to be funded by a fully underwritten syndicated debt facility.

The renounceable entitlement offer was launched earlier this month. SpeedCast CEO Pierre-Jean Beylier said the acquisition would be a “transformational opportunity” for the company.

“SpeedCast will become one of the largest purchasers of satellite capacity globally and create a diversified industry leader with a strong global network,” Mr Beylier said.

Allens advised SpeedCast on the Australian aspects of the acquisition deal, as well as the capital raising. The firm’s relationship partner for Speedcast, Richard Kriedemann, said this deal was part of a series of successful transactions Allens has advised SpeedCast on. He indicated that more deals in the equity capital markets practice are expected into next year.

“The SpeedCast entitlement offer is another example of the strong support from equity market investors for M&A deals by ASX-listed companies,” Mr Kriedemann said.

“We continue to see a strong pipeline of deals for our equity capital markets practice for the next six to nine months.”

G + T advised Credit Suisse and UBS for their part in the deal. Lead partner Adam D’Andreti described the transaction as one of the most recent “market-leading equity raisings”.

SpeedCast’s acquisition deal is subject to regulatory review and other conditions. The transaction is expected to be finalised by early 2017.

Allens partner Richard Kriedmann

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