The shareholders of the international satellite company Inmarsat have accepted an offer by Grapeclose Limited (a company controlled by Apax Partners and Permira) to purchase all of the issued share capital of Inmarsat for a total cash consideration of approximately US$ 1.5 billion, or US$ 15 per share. The transaction is still subject to certain conditions and court approval.
Under the offer, shareholders may elect to receive a portion of the consideration for their shares in the form of equity in the new holding company of the Inmarsat Group, up to a maximum stake equal to each shareholder's current stake in Inmarsat representing no more than 43.3 per cent of the new holding company in aggregate. Due to the strategic value of its ownership in Inmarsat relative to its other assets in the mobile satellite sector, Telenor will seek to maintain its current equity ownership of over 14 per cent in the new holding company. Telenor's ownership percentage may, however, be reduced depending on the elections made by other shareholders. Telenor will nonetheless receive a minimum cash payment of approximately US$122 millions upon closing of the transaction, expected to take place before the end of 2003.
The book value of Telenor's Inmarsat shares is NOK 1,435 million. The transaction is not expected to have any significant accounting impact for the Telenor Group.
Dag Melgaard, Chief Press Spokesman, Telenor ASA, tel: (+4 7) 901 92 000