Backers list further stake in Inmarsat

Apax and Permira are among a consortium which is listing a further 80 million shares at 348p each.

The backers of satellite company Inmarsat, which include Permira and Apax Partners, are planning a secondary placing of shares on the London Stock Exchange valued at £278 million (€405 million; $492 million), according to regulatory notices.
 
The listing of a further 80 million shares would decrease the backers’ combined stake in the company from 35 percent to 17.5 percent.
 
Inmarsat was created by the UN 25 years ago to improve communications at sea. Today it provides a range of telecoms services including telephony, video, and broadband.
 
A consortium consisting of the two London-based firms, Telenor Satellite Services and ComSat Investments, a unit of Lockheed Martin, beat off competition from Apollo Management and Soros Private Equity to acquire a 52 percent stake in the company in November 2003 for around £830 million.
 
Inmarsat floated in an IPO valuing the company at £1.1 billion last June. At the time of the flotation, its shares were worth 245p each. The consortium sold the first tranche of their shares, comprising a 16 percent stake, last October at a price of 317½p per share.
 
Yesterday shares in the company closed at 355½p. The new shares were this morning priced by advisers JPMorgan Cazenove and Lehman Brothers at 348p per share.