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Eurobites: Inmarsat Agrees to $3.4B Takeover Bid

Paul Rainford
3/25/2019
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Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: new UK FTTH player raises £75 million; EU encourages data sharing, says no to US-led Huawei gear ban; Abu Dhabi hub targets UK startups.

  • UK satellite company Inmarsat has agreed to a $3.4 billion takeover bid from a private equity group comprising Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus International and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. According to the Guardian, the consortium pledged to keep Inmarsat's headquarters in the UK -- it currently employs 800 people at its London base. Last year Inmarsat rebuffed a bid from US rival Echostar, which valued Inmarsat's business at $4.2 billion. (See Inmarsat Rejects Lowball Takeover Bid by EchoStar.)

  • British fiber broadband startup Toob announced Monday it has raised £75 million (US$99 million) from Amber Infrastructure Group's National Digital Infrastructure Fund and will use that capital to build a new FTTH access network that will pass 100,000 premises (in an as yet unannounced UK location) by the end of 2021. The company was founded and is led by CEO Nick Parbutt and CFO Mike Banwell (CFO), both former directors at Vodafone UK.

  • The European Commission is this week set to recommend EU member states share more data to help combat the cybersecurity risk posed by the rollout of 5G networks -- but it will defy the US and not call for a European ban on Huawei equipment in those networks. This, Reuters reports, will be the gist of a presentation by European digital chief Andrus Ansip on Tuesday. (See Huawei Stew Hits Boiling Point.)

  • Abu Dhabi is targeting UK startups with the launch of Hub71, a new tech hub that will be backed by an 535 million Emirati Dirham (US$145.6 million) fund that will co-invest in startups with venture capital companies through a government matching scheme. Hub71 offers subsidized housing, office space and health insurance for seed-stage companies. For more extablished tech ventures, 50% subsidy packages will be made available.

    Abu Dhabi Do
    Standing room only at the Hub71 launch event.
    Standing room only at the Hub71 launch event.

  • Swedish media transport company Net Insight has joined the SRT Alliance, a group of nearly 200 organizations putting their weight behind SRT, an open source video transport protocol and technology stack. The SRT Alliance says it is on a mission to "deliver high-quality, low-latency video across the public Internet."

  • Germany's ADVA has found a berth for its Oscilloquartz synchronization at BT, which is using the technology to help roll out 5G services across the UK. According to ADVA, more accurate timing information will enable BT to improve the use of its spectrum.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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