iDirect parent company to buy Newtec for €250m

iDirect hardware has been used by service providers like Marlink to deploy high-speed VSAT services for customers including MSC Cruises

Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering), the parent company of maritime satcom infrastructure provider iDirect, has made an offer to acquire rival satcom hardware firm Newtec in a deal worth €250 million.

The US-based iDirect business has played a key role in supporting the maritime industry’s move to high throughput VSAT services in recent years, with its technologies used by satellite operators like Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES and Telenor, as well as service providers such as Marlink and Speedcast, in providing connectivity to ships at sea.

Belgium-based Newtec has also been making significant moves in this sector since scaling up its mobility business in recent years, particularly in working with Panasonic on its maritime broadband products, and providing hardware for service companies like Network Innovations to integrate into its maritime VSAT offerings.

Recently, Newtec was also among the first companies to successfully test over-the-air communication via LEO satellites, a market expected to grow rapidly in the near term as companies like OneWeb, SpaceX and others forge ahead with ambitious plans to launch more than 5,000 satellites in the coming years.

ST Engineering says that it will continue to invest in Newtec in Belgium following a successful acquisition, to position it as the Group’s European centre for the satcom business. It hopes that combining the businesses will support growth in the companies’ ability to provide seamless end-to-end internet connectivity and remote monitoring to maritime, and other mobility markets.

“We are pleased to be able to acquire Newtec, an established satcom player with strong technology foundations. The differentiated yet complementary technologies, combined with our track record and established satcom experience, will enable us to innovate and deliver more value-added, advanced satellite products and capabilities to our customers, at a more rapid pace,” said Ravinder Singh, President, Electronics sector, ST Engineering.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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