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Maritime satellite business Marlink to be sold by Airbus Defence and Space

AIRBUS Defence and Space has announced that it plans to sell off its commercial satellite communications interests, including its maritime satcom business and direct sales subsidiary Marlink.

Maritime satellite business Marlink to be sold by Airbus Defence and Space
01 October 2014 - 17:12

Maritime satellite business Marlink to be sold by Airbus Defence and Space

AIRBUS Defence and Space has announced that it plans to sell off its commercial satellite communications interests, including its maritime satcom business and direct sales subsidiary Marlink.

"After a detailed and comprehensive portfolio assessment, Airbus Defence and Space has defined Space (Launchers & Satellites), Military Aircraft, Missiles and related Systems and Services as its future core businesses," said a company statement. 

"Some business areas are identified as divestment candidates as they do not fit the strategic goals and for which the company sees possibilities to increase their development potential," it said.

The decision was taken, reported Digital Ship, as a result of Airbus Defence and Space Group's Strategy Review in 2013, which concluded that commercial satellite communications would have a better chance for growth under new owners.

"Given the tight budgetary situation and increasing competition, the portfolio review is an essential element to further develop our defence and space business and to ensure its competitiveness," said Airbus Defence and Space CEO Bernhard Gerwert.

Airbus acquired satellite communications Vizada in 2011 for US$1 billion, adding the business to its Astrium division, which became Airbus Defence and Space.

Vizada itself was created through a merger of the France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications and Telenor Satellite Services (including Marlink), after those two businesses were acquired by Apax Partners in 2007.

The announcement gave no indication of potential buyers, noted Digital Ship. On the maritime communications side, it has been a major provider of satellite services to shipping, second only to Inmarsat itself.

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