EADS unit buys Vizada satcom for $960 mn

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European defence and aerospace group EADS announced Monday it had acquired Vizada satellite communications company for 673 million euros as part of its efforts to develop services businesses.

EADS said its Astrium subsidiary had agreed to buy the independent provider of satellite-based communications for $960 million from its majority shareholder, private equity fund Apax France, to be financed from existing cash reserves.

EADS, the parent company of Airbus aircraft manufacturer, said Vizada's position as a leading provider of maritime communications services would complement Astrium's business.

"Vizada being a world leader in commercial satcom services is the perfect complement to our existing satellite communications portfolio which is heavily focused on governmental and secure civil satcom," Astrium Services CEO Eric Beranger said in a statement.

Vizada, which has some 200,000 clients around the world, is expected to make a gross profit of $95 million on $660 million in sales in 2011, according to EADS.

Under its Vision 2020 strategy, EADS is trying to balance its defence and civil businesses, as well as expand the provision of services.

EADS, which has a cash pile of some 11 billion euros, has indicated it is interested in making acquisitions and has already bought three companies this year.

© 2011 AFP

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