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Marlink to acquire Livewire Connections to create the leading maritime VSAT company in the superyacht market

(11 December 2017 - Marlink) Marlink, backed by Apax-partners has signed a definite agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Livewire Connections, a UK headquartered satellite communications service provider with focus on superyacht customers.

The move follows the recent announcement that Marlink intends to acquire a majority stake in the Spanish superyacht service provider OmniAccess. Both companies have been strategically chosen for their leading position, unique capabilities and quality focus to provide unrivalled services and value for customers in the highly demanding superyacht segment.

Following completion of the share purchase, Livewire Connections will become part of the Marlink Group, joining the worldwide leader in maritime communications and maritime VSAT services, generating close to $500 million revenues, employing approx. 1000 experts globally and serving an installed base of around 5000 VSAT vessels under contract. Established as an innovator and today the most trusted service provider in all key maritime markets, including shipping, offshore, cruise / ferry and fishing, Marlink’s recent round of acquisitions will complement and extend further its leading position to the superyacht market segment.

With its HQ in Chessington, Surrey and office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Livewire Connections is an established satellite airtime provider and solutions integrator to the Marine market since 2004. In addition to supplying an array of satellite and terrestrial communications services and hardware, Livewire Connections focuses on providing custom IT and networking installations to meet the wide range of requirements found in the superyacht sector. With end to end solutions forming the core of its market strategy the company looks to support its clients’ needs from simple email through to dedicated VSAT services. This approach has been helped by Livewire Connections’ position as a top Cobham Satcom dealer, currently 12th in the world, and enabled them to provide contracted services to a fleet of more than 120 superyachts ranging from 30m to 140m+. With customers operating globally, Livewire Connections supports them on many adventures including trips as far afield as Antarctica and South Georgia through to the North-West Passage.

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From left to right: David Walker. Livewire Connections, Erik Ceuppens, Marlink Group, James Ashworth, Livewire Connections (courtesy: Marlink)

“Livewire Connections has consistently demonstrated to be at the forefront of satcom service provision for superyacht customers in Europe and the US, so we are delighted to have them on board as part of the Marlink Group,” said Erik Ceuppens, CEO of the Marlink Group. “Just like OmniAccess, Livewire Connections is focused on leveraging cutting-edge technology, innovation and service excellence to deliver premium customer satisfaction. Together they will make a great fit and undoubtedly the most capable company to provide the best-in-class services for the sophisticated superyacht customers.”

“Joining forces with Marlink enables us to deliver even more value to our customers,” said David Walker at Livewire Connections. “We are looking forward to expanding our local, customer-centred approach with world-leading infrastructure, technology and engineering solutions from Marlink and OmniAccess. Together we will deliver more innovation for customers in the luxury vessel segment meeting the unique needs for bandwidth, flexibility and functionality with leading customised solutions.”

Closing of the transaction is expected to happen in next coming weeks.

About the Marlink Group

Through its ownership of the Marlink, Apax Partners has created a new powerful Group dedicated to providing maritime and enterprise customers with an integrated offering of reliable broadband communications, digital solutions, bridge electronics and flexible service & maintenance.

Combining the power of these expert organisations, the Marlink Group delivers complete connectivity and IT solutions to maritime and enterprise companies globally. It provides an unrivalled portfolio of multi-band communication solutions covering Ku-, Ka-, C- and L-band services extended with mobile and terrestrial links and an industry-unique range of digital solutions. Telemar, as part of the Group, is a recognised supplier for bridge electronics and on-board maintenance services. The Group is completed by Palantir, which specialises in remote IT management solutions and IT services on board.

The expertise of the Marlink Group, combined with its strong satellite network operator and manufacturer partnerships as well as IT network expertise, enables it to bring the power of broadband communications, bridge and electronics technology and service excellence to customers globally, providing tailored connectivity solutions that enable both maritime and enterprise customers globally to digitalise their operations at sea and on land.

Today the Marlink Group has more than 800 employees worldwide and provides customers with unrivalled service and support through an enhanced global footprint and worldwide sales and service locations. A global 24/7 helpdesk, specialised competence centres, local presence on all continents and a network of 1250 service points and partners staffed by highly qualified, certified service engineers, supports global customers to operate their business in an ever smarter, safer and more profitable way. The Group is led by Erik Ceuppens as CEO.

About Livewire Connections

Livewire Connections dedicate themselves in providing an unrivalled portfolio of products and satellite services, including Inmarsat, Iridium and VSAT, IT and networking to the maritime and land mobile sectors. Specialising in turnkey installations Livewire Connections Ltd is a Cobham Sea Tel and Sailor VSAT and TVRO main dealer and Marlink Elite and Global Field Service Alliance Partner. The Company provides airtime along with complete IT integration, email solutions and unmatched technical support for superyachts and merchant vessels of all types. Livewire Connections has been heavily involved with numerous yacht refit and new build projects throughout Europe and the USA.