Viasat to Acquire RigNet in All-Stock Transaction

 Dec. 21, 2020

RigNet, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved the Company's entry into a definitive agreement whereby Viasat Inc. will acquire RigNet in an all-stock transaction representing an enterprise value of $222 million, including RigNet's net debt as of September 30, 2020, based on the closing price of Viasat common stock on December 18, 2020.  The strategic combination creates a vertically integrated communications company serving customers in industries that include government, airlines, residential, energy, and others by providing cutting-edge connectivity from the satellite to the end customer and delivering premier managed communications services coupled with a suite of advanced application solutions that include real-time machine learning and advanced cybersecurity.

"We are excited to announce this strategic combination with Viasat, a leading global innovator in satellite technology and service delivery," said Steven Pickett, RigNet's President and Chief Executive Officer.  "This is a transformative merger with a company that is highly diversified across a number of important verticals, maintains a strong balance sheet, and is planning to expand its global satellite coverage significantly through its upcoming ViaSat-3 constellation.  We believe the merger will create new opportunities for the combined companies to serve customers even better in energy and to expand more rapidly into other vertical markets.  The combined companies will also be able to further accelerate the growth of RigNet's industry-leading AI-backed machine learning business, Intelie, and our other specialized apps, across a broader customer base than RigNet could have reached independently."

Rick Baldridge, Viasat's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We believe that RigNet will be a wonderful addition to Viasat's expanding commercial connectivity program.  We admire what Steve and his team have built over the last several years, performing well relative to peers in the energy sector, moving up the stack, and delivering some truly exceptional capabilities that are unique among their competitors.  We see RigNet as an important element in our global expansion efforts and expect to achieve accretive synergies that go well beyond traditional cost savings.  There is tremendous upside potential here, and we look forward to closing the acquisition as quickly as possible so both companies and our stockholders can realize the benefits of the combination and fulfill our vision of connecting everyone, anywhere."

Transaction Details

Under the terms of the agreement, RigNet's stockholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.1845 shares of Viasat stock for each RigNet share owned.  Based on the parties' volume weighted average prices ("VWAPs") for the 20 trading days ending on December 18, 2020, the transaction represents a 17.9% premium for RigNet's stockholders.  Upon closing RigNet stockholders are expected to own approximately ~5.7% of Viasat's outstanding common stock. The all-stock transaction is intended to be tax-free to RigNet stockholders.

The transaction, which is expected to close by mid-calendar year 2021, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including the approval of RigNet's stockholders.  An affiliate of KKR & Co. Inc., RigNet's largest shareholder, has entered into a support agreement in which it has agreed to vote in favor of approving the merger, subject to certain conditions.


Lazard Middle Market LLC and Baker Botts L.L.P. acted as RigNet's financial and legal advisors, respectively.  LionTree Advisors LLC and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as Viasat's financial and legal advisors, respectively.