ViaSat and EutelSat partnership progresses

ViaSat has provided an update on its partnering arrangement with EutelSat, as part of its third quarter fiscal year 2017 results.

Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO stated, “Executing on our previously announced partnering arrangement with Eutelsat represents definitive progress in immediately expanding our geographic reach to consumer and mobile markets with the strongest partner in Europe.”

In a further update, it was confirmed that the companies had agreed to close the previously announced joint venture, combining Eutelsat’s current European broadband business with ViaSat’s broadband technologies and consumer Internet Service Provider (ISP) business expertise. Under the terms of the arrangement, an entity to be 51% owned by Eutelsat will own and operate Eutelsat’s KA-SAT satellite and current wholesale broadband business, with ViaSat purchasing a 49% interest. A second entity, to be 51% owned by ViaSat and 49% owned by Eutelsat, will purchase wholesale KA-SAT satellite-based capacity to offer retail broadband internet services in the European region. Both entities will be headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The closing of the partnering arrangement is expected to occur by the end of February 2017.

Additionally, ViaSat and Eutelsat expect to add the ViaSat-3 class satellite currently under construction for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to the partnering arrangement later this calendar year.

At the close of the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, ViaSat’s in-flight internet service was deployed on 555 commercial aircraft. The company ended the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 with more than 750 commercial aircraft in install backlog. This backlog growth was largely driven by American Airlines selection of ViaSat to outfit its new Boeing 737 MAX fleet, and to retrofit more than 500 aircraft from its existing, mainline domestic fleet, with ViaSat’s in-flight internet system. The install backlog also includes commercial aircraft contracts from EL AL Israel Airlines, Finnair and SAS.

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