SpeedCast International Limited (ASX: SDA), a leading global satellite communications and network service provider, recently announced the acquisition of WINS Limited (WINS), a leading Europe-based provider of innovative broadband satellite communications and IT solutions for the maritime sector.
WINS provides services to over 100 passenger carrying vessels such as cruise liners and ferries and more than 2,000 merchant shipping vessels with a portfolio of VSAT, L-Band, Accounting Authority Services and International Maritime GSM service. The combination of SpeedCast’s unrivaled global service and operational network and WINS’ strong establishment in the European market will enable SpeedCast to grow its business rapidly in this exciting market.
“We are very pleased to welcome WINS to our family,” SpeedCast CEO, Pierre-Jean Beylier, commented. “This acquisition is further affirmation of SpeedCast’s growth strategies, and is a significant milestone for us. WINS brings a strong local presence in Germany, a major maritime market, as well as expertise in the cruise industry in Europe, a fast growing user of satellite communications. Together, we are well poised to expand our network to support the growing demand of VSAT services in the maritime sector.” Pierre-Jean Beylier added.
Tony Mejlaq, Chairman and CEO of WINS said: “We founded WINS with a vision of connecting users in any location, no matter how remote. Becoming part of the SpeedCast family enables us to join a group with real international connections, providing us with access to new markets. We are very excited to join the SpeedCast family and deliver new service capabilities to our customers. Our customers will benefit from the enhanced customer service network and world class infrastructure.”
Interview with George Gregory, Partner at RSM Malta:
Please tell me about your involvement in the deal?
We acted as business advisors on the deal and assisted the client in the compilation of the financial information relevant for due diligence purposes, setting up of an electronic data room, preparation of potential values of the company and identification of suitable fiscal solutions from a sellers’ perspective.
Why is this a good deal for all involved?
This is a successful story on a number of different fronts. First of all, WINS Ltd was the result of a very successful combination of the vision of a local entrepreneur and the backing of an international European leader in the satellite communication industry.
In a period of some 10 years, the entrepreneur, supported by his Board and management, managed to build a business that was economical, efficient and nimble, enabling it to overcome market challenges that other more established operators had succumbed to. The company managed to secure market share through organic growth and through the acquisition and combinations of other European businesses operating in Sweden and Germany.
In time WINS became a leader in the industry, worth several million euros. Its relevance and success were such that it attracted the attention and respect of other global operators competing in this tough market.
The deal came at a time that enabled the shareholders of WINS to realise their investment when at its top potential. The deal also enabled the buyers to make quick headways in particular sectors of the market that WINS operated in.
What challenges arose? How did you navigate them?
The challenges were various, some relating to time, to technical matters and others to negotiating issues, but the focus was always very much on reaching an equitable settlement to the satisfaction of all the parties involved.