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Echostar seeks $3.2 billion bid talks with Inmarsat as deadline loom

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Staff Writer | July 6, 2018
Acquisition   Shares in Inmarsat fell 8.5 percent

U.S. satellite group EchoStar urged Britain’s Inmarsat to open talks about a takeover approach worth $3.2 billion to shareholders just hours before a deadline for the American company to make a firm offer was due to expire.

Shares in Inmarsat fell 8.5 percent on Friday morning to 481 pence after EchoStar revealed it had made a cash and shares bid of 532 pence per share on July 3 that Inmarsat had rejected the following day.

EchoStar, which is chaired by entrepreneur Charlie Ergen, faces a deadline of 1700 London time (1600 GMT) on Friday to make a firm offer or walk away from Inmarsat for six months, under rules laid down by Britain’s Takeover Panel.

The U.S. firm said it would proceed with its 532 pence-a-share bid, which values London-listed Inmarsat’s equity at 2.45 billion pounds ($3.2 billion), if Inmarsat secured a deadline extension from the panel.

But the British company said in response that EchoStar’s bid “very significantly undervalued Inmarsat and its standalone prospects.”

It added: “The board remains highly confident in the independent strategy and prospects of Inmarsat.”

Including Inmarsat’s convertible bonds, EchoStar said its offer valued the UK group’s equity and convertible debt at 3.2 billion pounds.

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