SpeedCast is a network and satellite communications service provider offering managed networks services in over 30 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. SpeedCast’s customers include telecom carriers, Internet service providers, governments and non-governmental organizations, and other enterprises requiring communication services in locations where wire-based communication is not possible or practical, or where mobility is required. Through its SeaCast product, the company serves the broadband needs of the maritime and offshore oil and gas industries. The company has 8 international sales & support offices and 16 teleport operations and is based in Hong Kong with offices in Beijing, Singapore, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur (www.speedcast.com).
“As a profitable and rapidly growing company, SpeedCast ideally fits TA’s investment profile,” said Edward Sippel, Managing Principal – Asia Pacific at TA Associates. “As one of the largest VSAT operators serving Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and one of the few with a multi-country footprint, SpeedCast has the opportunity to become the leading provider in a vibrant and burgeoning market. TA looks forward to collaborating with SpeedCast management to execute a strategy of organic and acquisitive growth.”
VSAT service revenues in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are projected to grow at an 8% compound annual growth rate over the next five years, approximately twice the rate of Western markets, according to industry analyst Comsys. The global maritime VSAT market is experiencing particularly robust growth. Comsys reported that worldwide maritime VSAT service revenues doubled to $800 million between 2004 and 2009.
“We are pleased to welcome TA Associates as an investor in SpeedCast and to our Board of Directors,” said Pierre-Jean Beylier, the CEO of SpeedCast, who will continue as CEO of the business. “We look forward to working with TA because of their demonstrated ability to add value to their portfolio companies, and because of their management-friendly approach. We see several near- and long-term opportunities for growth in our markets and will benefit from TA’s support on these endeavors.”
TA Associates makes buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. Since founding in 1968 TA has invested in over 400 companies globally and has raised more than $18 billion in capital. The firm was founded in 1968 and has offices in Boston, London, Menlo Park, Hong Kong and Mumbai (www.ta.com).
“We see a number of factors driving the positive growth prospects for SpeedCast,” said Michael Berk, a Managing Director at TA Associates. “Compared with Western markets, there is ample room for overall broadband penetration in SpeedCast’s operating regions, and wire-based broadband access is not yet economically viable in the remote locations and archipelagoes common in many Asian countries. In the maritime market, the shipping industry increasingly sees the need for broadband at sea to manage functions remotely, comply with data and communication requirements in the context of security, and as a tool for recruiting and retaining younger staff.”
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-24-12