Intelsat today completed its acquisition of the Commercial Aviation business of Gogo, creating the world’s leading provider of inflight broadband connectivity to the commercial aviation industry.
The closing of the $400 million cash deal brings together two complementary enterprises — the world’s largest satellite operator with the leading provider of commercial inflight broadband and entertainment services — to deliver unprecedented innovation and long-term value to commercial airlines.
“Combining Intelsat’s next-generation global telecommunications network with Gogo Commercial Aviation’s leading capabilities and airline relationships will create unprecedented innovation in inflight digital connectivity, unlocking exciting new growth and brand loyalty opportunities across the airline industry,” said Intelsat Chief Executive Stephen Spengler. “With our powerful, integrated offering, airlines will no longer need to trade off speed, reliability or availability for coverage, even when flying at full capacity in and out of the busiest airport hubs.”
The culmination of this transaction further propels Intelsat into vertically integrated managed mobility services, and deeper into the growing inflight connectivity market. Broadband connectivity for nine of the top 20 global airlines and an installed base of more than 3,000 commercial aircraft are now part of Intelsat’s portfolio of services.
“The completion of the sale of our CA business to Intelsat marks the beginning of a new chapter for Gogo; we are a leader in business aviation and now turn our singular focus toward serving that attractive market,” said Oakleigh Thorne, President and CEO of Gogo. “Our business aviation division has proven resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of business aircraft online today has nearly returned to January levels.
“Looking forward, we see great opportunity to create value for our customers, employees and shareholders,” Thorne said. “And on behalf of all of us at Gogo, I want to extend my sincere thanks to the talented CA team that joins Intelsat today. The opportunities that await them are a testament to their unwavering dedication and commitment to Gogo and their aviation partners.”
Intelsat announced several leadership changes, effective today, as part of the deal close:
- John Wade will remain president of Gogo Commercial Aviation, now a division of Intelsat. In this role, he will manage all aspects of the business, including product, sales, account management, quality and service delivery. Wade has more than 30 years of experience in the aviation industry; he joined Gogo in 2008, serving as Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Gogo’s Business Aviation division before assuming his current position.
- Bruno Fromont has been named Intelsat’s Chief Technology Officer. He will lead spectrum strategy, asset planning, product development and innovation. Fromont previously served as Intelsat’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning, following vice president roles leading yield management, solutions development and asset management. Fromont has been a member of the Intelsat team for 20 years.
- Jon Cobin has been named Intelsat’s Chief Strategy Officer, leading the company’s corporate strategy and business development efforts. Cobin joins Intelsat from Gogo, where he served most recently as Chief Strategy Officer. Previously he held leadership positions within Gogo’s Commercial Aviation business, including Chief Commercial Officer. Cobin had been with Gogo for 11 years.
“Demand for inflight broadband is expected to grow at a double-digit rate over the next decade, and we remain committed to long-term success in broadband mobility services. With Gogo Commercial Aviation, we will bring our complementary and collective expertise to help solve our customers’ toughest inflight connectivity and entertainment challenges,” said Spengler. “Our ability to initiate, execute and rapidly finalize this transaction demonstrates the forward momentum that Intelsat has maintained over the course of this year.”