CARLSBAD — ViaSat is continuing its European push.
The broadband Internet company announced Monday it acquired Ireland-based Arconics, an innovative provider of software solutions to the aviation industry.
Through this acquisition ViaSat gains broader expertise, aviation-grade software and mobile applications to make flying safer and more efficient for pilots, cabin crews and flight operations teams as well as applications that make entertaining passengers and opening new service and revenue opportunities for airlines possible.
The Arconics-connected aircraft software platform enables the Arconics App Suite, which spans wireless In-flight Entertainment (IFE), Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), Airline Document Management and Cabin Management solutions, to communicate and share data with the aircraft and, using available connectivity, to connect with ground systems across mobile or avionics platforms.
According to ViaSat, tens of thousands of pilots, ground staff and cabin crew members across five continents depend on Arconics software to safely and efficiently operate their fleets. Airline customers include: Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Philippine Airlines, Tigerair Australia, SpiceJet and others.
“By acquiring Arconics, we are bolstering our ability to serve the global aviation market,” Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility business, said in a statement from ViaSat. “We believe combining our strengths with Arconics will position ViaSat to be the market leader for connectivity, passenger services and flight deck applications and operations.”
Prior to the acquisition, Arconics had a partnership with ViaSat focusing on serving the wireless IFE needs of multiple airline customers.
Post-acquisition, ViaSat expects to also offer airlines real-time insight, control and agility of aircraft and flight data with highly-integrated, highly-customizable aircraft operations tools that tap into the power of ViaSat’s advanced high capacity Ka-band satellite network, which has more capacity in orbit than any other in-flight Wi-Fi provider.
“ViaSat offers Arconics a strategic match — both culturally and technologically,” Arconics Chief Executive Officer Niall O’Sullivan said in a press release. “We know ViaSat well, having partnered with them on a number of opportunities to deliver our world-class CloudStore wireless IFE product.
Together, we believe the complementary nature of the technologies and products of Arconics and ViaSat will enhance the combined company’s ability to deliver exceptional end-to-end experiences across the entire aircraft value-chain.”
In connection with the acquisition, ViaSat establishes a presence in Dublin and will continue to build its operations in Sydney. More than 30 Arconics team members with both technical and business expertise will join ViaSat, including Niall O’Sullivan. IBI Corporate Finance advised Arconics on the transaction.
The transaction is not expected to materially affect ViaSat non-GAAP (pro forma) earnings for fiscal year 2017.
However, ViaSat has not completed its valuation analysis and, accordingly, has not determined the impact to GAAP earnings.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.