Airbus Agrees to Sell Commercial Satcoms Business Back to Apax

  • French private-equity firm signs deal for undisclosed sum
  • Disposal follows 2014 review of defense and space assets

Airbus Group SE secured an accord to sell its commercial satellite communications activities to French private-equity firm Apax Partners, from which it acquired the operation as part of a wider transaction in 2011.

The planemaker has signed a share-purchase agreement for the disposal of 100 percent of the business to Apax, with the deal set to close in coming months subject to regulatory approvals, it said Monday. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The commercial satcoms arm serves the maritime industry worldwide, together with thousands of land-based users in the mining, energy and humanitarian sectors which require reliable connectivity in challenging environments, according to Airbus. It has a worldwide distribution network of 400 resellers.

Toulouse, France-based Airbus said it will retain government-satcoms operations which have established a leading position market based on both military and commercial satellites.

Airbus agreed in August 2011 to buy satcoms business Vizada from Apax for $960 million. By September 2014 it had decided that the unit was surplus to requirements following a review of the defense and space portfolio.