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GI Partners to Take Orbcomm Private in $1.1 Billion Deal

Two people shake hands
(Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images)

GI Partners, the private equity company that bought Vast Broadband last year, has agreed to purchase Orbcomm in a cash and assumed debt transaction that values the network equipment maker at about $1.1 billion.

As part of the deal, which will take the company private, Orbcomm shareholders will receive $11.50 in cash for every share of the company they own. In addition, GI Partners will assume about $200 million in Orbcomm debt. The deal, expected to close in the second half of the year, represents a 52% premium to Orbcomm’s share price on April 7 of $7.57 each. Orbcomm shares immediately rose past the offering price, and were up 53% ($3.97 each) to $11.55 per share in early tradingThursday. 

Orbcomm makes telematic devices, modems and other network products and said the deal will help it gain momentum in the Internet of Things (IoT) space as well as help it increase sales, marketing technology innovation and expand globally. When the deal closes, Orbcomm will no longer be a public company. 

“This transaction will provide immediate and substantial value to ORBCOMM stockholders, reflecting the tremendous commitment and work of our employees and stakeholders. The partnership with GI Partners will provide us the opportunity to rapidly advance our long-term strategy,” Orbcomm CEO Marc Eisenberg said in a press release. “GI Partners has an established track record of working with companies to accelerate growth, and we look forward to continuing to drive innovation, providing world-class service to our global customers and expanding our market share in the industrial IoT as a privately held company.”

Orbcomm said its board of directors has unanimously approved the deal and said a special meeting of shareholders will be held as soon as practicable to vote on the transaction.

“Orbcomm has a long history of innovation, providing mission-critical services to customers across the global logistics landscape and a broad range of other industries,” GI Partners managing director Mark Prybutok said in a press release. “We are excited to work with the Orbcomm team to take the business forward as IoT use cases continue to evolve and grow.”

GI Partners primarily invests in data infrastructure companies and in October purchased Vast Broadband, a high-speed data service provider with about 60,000 customers in South Dakota and Minnesota. In 2012 it teamed up with Oak Hill Capital Partners to buy Wave Broadband, selling that interest five years later to TPG Capital.  TPG sold Wave along with RCN, Grande Communications and enTouch Communications (collectively known as Astound Broadband) in a deal valued at $8.1 billion. 

The deal also allows Orbcomm to seek out another buyer during a 30-day “go shop” period that will expire on May 7.  

Mike Farrell
Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.