TA progresses Australasian consolidation play

The Boston-based private equity firm has acquired Pactel International as it continues to consolidate satellite communications businesses in Asia.

TA Associates and its Hong Kong-based portfolio company SpeedCast have acquired Australian Pactel International, according to a company statement. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but the firm took a 100 percent stake in the business. 

Pactel is a satellite communications service provider that operates across Australia and the Pacific. The deal represents a continuation of TA’s plan to consolidate a number of satellite communications businesses across the Asia Pacific region, under the SpeedCast brand. 

TA completed a buyout of SpeedCast in September 2012, with the plan to execute a consolidation strategy in the Asia-Pacific satellite communications industry. The Pactel buyout follows the December 2012 acquisition of Australian Satellite Communications and the January 2013 buyout of Netherlands-based Elektrikom Satellite Service.

“When we originally backed the SpeedCast investment we were always focused on a consolidation play, mainly because the industry in which it operates is highly fragmented [and] that really created an opportunity to consolidate an industry that is fragmented but growing very nicely,” Ed Sippel, managing principal at TA Associates Asia Pacific, told Private Equity International.

The industry in which it operates is highly fragmented [and] that really created an opportunity to consolidate an industry that is fragmented but growing very nicely.

Ed Sippel, managing principal, TA Associates

He added, “[Pactel] operates in a very special niche in servicing Australia and the South Pacific, which is an area that is less-served by others and growing very fast. So they have a unique and valuable market position. Obviously bringing that together with SpeedCast and the other businesses gives the combined company that added scale and is really helpful in terms of vendors and suppliers.”

Investment team members at TA Associates have board seats at all the businesses acquired in the consolidation. 

The deal was made from TA Associates’ global fund, which was launched in 2011 and had raised $1.05 billion as of May 2012, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division. The fund is targeting $1.75 billion, but Sippel declined to comment on the progress of fundraising.

The firm was founded in 1968 and makes both growth and buyout investments globally.