Tuesday 3 December 2019 8:06 am

Oaktree abandons attempt to stall $6bn Inmarsat deal

Inmarsat shareholders have dramatically dropped their objections to a take-private deal on the day they were set to raise them in court.

A consortium led by Oaktree Capital was expected to try and block a $6bn offer made by hedge funds in the High Court today.

Oaktree, Kite Lake Capital Management and Rubric Capital Management have built up stakes in the satellite giant since it accepted the bid.

They argued that the price tag did not reflect the value set to come from a US project that looked set to gain approval from a US regulator this month.

However, today they abandoned any move to block the private takeover from proceeding.

“Having considered our position carefully, we now no longer intend to raise objections to the Scheme being sanctioned at the hearing,” Oaktree said today.

“It is a matter of regret that despite the fact that our objections were raised in ample time for a further shareholders’ meeting – or the introduction of a contingent value rights instrument – neither of these things have happened. However, we do now acknowledge the issue with either course being taken in light of the new statements the Bidder has made yesterday.”

Yesterday the private equity buyers ruled out upping their bid or extending the expiration date ahead of the HIgh Court meeting.

Oaktree and its partners had hoped the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) might approve a deal between Inmarsat and Ligado to allow Ligado to use spectrum of radio frequencies to create a wireless network across the US.

However, the FCC has as of yet not approved the scheme.