The takeover of the British satellite constellation Inmarsat by an American competitor was authorized by the government.
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg commented on the £5.6bn acquisition of Viasat, saying it poses no security risk. The move will heighten fears of a devastation of British industry as overseas predators pounce on the assets.
Those concerns are set to intensify next week as French conglomerate Schneider Electric is mulling a bid to acquire the Aveva technology group before Wednesday’s deadline.
Surprise: Business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg shrugged off the £5.6bn acquisition of Viasat, saying it posed no security risk.
The government has been monitoring the Inmarsat takeover under the National Security and Investment Act, which allows ministers to block deals.
Viasat chief executive Mark Dankberg said: “The settlement is another important step towards closing the deal.”
But analyst Russ Shaw of Tech London Advocates said: “I was surprised and I’m interested to see what the business secretary does next. His attitude might be, “Let’s get the government out of the way and let the market do its thing.” The first signs that he is not an interventionist.
Inmarsat is the UK’s leading satellite company. It is the largest provider of in-flight Wi-Fi for airlines and a major player in ship internet connectivity.
And competition regulators are still investigating it, with a decision expected by Oct. 5 on whether to send the deal for a more thorough investigation.
Meanwhile, Aveva and Schneider say that Schneider will acquire a 40% stake in Aveva that it does not already own. The deadline of 21 September was set by the UK takeover control authority.
Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk /