Q3 2020 (3Q20) posted a resurgence of M&A activity and consistent levels of private equity / VC financing transaction activity.
Investor interest in the space sector remains exceptionally high with numerous private equity financial sponsors seeking to acquire high quality, revenue-generating businesses. Only a few have platform companies today (e.g., AEIP/Redwire, Blackstone/ AMERGINT, and Voyager for space segment; Odyssey/CPI for satcom ground tech), though a range of PEs are actively seeking or in due diligence on potential, initial platform investments. Venture financing activity also continues, with the complexion of VC investment gradually evolving and maturing in the sector. Meanwhile, the future is becoming increasingly clear for those overleveraged and COVID-19-affected satcom companies that filed for bankruptcy protection in 1H2020. Glimpses of Intelsat’s future strategy are coming into focus given its pending acquisition of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation business unit. Global Eagle’s stalking horse credit bid has secured the asset and we expect GEE to emerge as a private, independent company in the coming months. The duel between two special situations investors (Black Diamond and Centerbridge) in Speedcast recently reached a crescendo. Finally, as we previously described, OneWeb’s acquisition by a consortium of Her Majesty’s Government (U.K.) and Bharti is pending. The global space industry continues its secular expansion phase, driving commensurate interest from corporate and financial investors worldwide. This in-depth quarterly series covers:
Public company performance and valuation drivers
Market backdrop and developments
Review and analysis of Satellite & Space ecosystem M&A and investment activity