Kwasi Quarting urged to intervene in the £5.5 billion purchase of Inmarsat

Kwasi Quarting urged to intervene in the £5.5bn takeover of British satellite group Inmarsat

Kwasi Kwarteng has been urged to intervene in the £5.5bn takeover of Inmarsat. Tom Tugendhat, chair of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, has called on the business secretary to begin a national security review of the deal to buy the satellite communications company.

Tugendhat told Kwarteng that the sale of Inmarsat to US rival Viasat could “reduce the UK’s sovereign capabilities” in the “very important” sector.

Viasat has pounced on the London-based company just two years after it was sold to foreign private equity groups including Warburg Pincus in a controversial £4.7 billion deal.

Security concerns: Business Secretary Kwasi Koarting has been urged to start a review of the £5.5bn takeover of British satellite group Inmarsat.

Inmarsat technology is the largest provider of in-flight Wi-Fi for airlines, as well as the largest provider of Internet connections for ships worldwide.

It has 14 satellites in orbit and plans to launch seven more in the future. This national infrastructure is extremely important.

Tugendhat said the deal must be investigated under the takeover rules, which go into effect on January 4.

The National Security and Investment Act gives the government the power to investigate and prevent potential acquisitions of companies in strategic industries.

Tugendhat said: “Such transactions, while providing many benefits to the UK economy, also risk reducing the UK’s sovereign capabilities.

“We are concerned that selling Inmarsat overseas will reduce the UK’s sovereign capabilities in this very important sector.”

Meanwhile, Kwarteng said the government is “monitoring” the deal, adding: “I can assure you that this deal will be carefully considered.”

A Viasat spokesperson said: “We have made a clear commitment to build on Inmarsat’s UK presence, support previous commitments made by Inmarsat owners, and increase the combined company’s investment in UK satellite communications.”


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