Viasat Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Link 16 Tactical Data Links (TDL) business to L3Harris Technologies for $1.96 billion, subject to customary transaction adjustments in accordance with the agreement. The sale is expected to result in cash proceeds to Viasat of approximately $1.8 billion net after estimated taxes, fees, and other expenses.
Viasat’s Link 16 Tactical Data Link business is part of its Government Systems segment. Over the past 25 years, the business has grown to be a leading provider of Link 16 TDL products and solutions. The sale of the business includes the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) platforms and associated next-generation Link 16 terminals and handheld radios, as well as the Link 16 to space business.
“This transaction will transform our balance sheet, reduce cash interest obligations, and sharpen strategic focus while enabling continued growth opportunities for the Link 16 business and assuring our customers of a competitive, innovative and reliable source for their future needs. The Link 16 Tactical Data Links business has been an important contributor to Viasat’s growth and earnings and the transaction recognizes the value created by our outstanding team. L3Harris has been a long-time Link 16 strategic partner and has a portfolio that will benefit significantly from these capabilities. Looking ahead, the ViaSat-3 constellation and the Inmarsat acquisition both create greater forward-looking government systems growth opportunities in space-based businesses with more R&D, capital and operational synergies,” said Mark Dankberg, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Viasat.
“Acquiring Viasat’s TDL product line will amplify our existing capabilities as a leading provider of resilient networking solutions,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3Harris CEO and Chair.
“Global national security requirements are increasing rapidly in this sector, and now we will be able to advance JADC2 and broaden our multi-function, multi-domain mission solutions through integration with Link 16.”
The Link 16 TDL business had approximately $400 million of revenue and an estimated $125 million of Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended June 30, 2022, the latter being burdened by the estimated amount of allocable overhead and corporate expenses expected approximately one year after closing.
Viasat intends to use the proceeds of the Link 16 TDL sale to reduce net leverage and increase liquidity. Pro forma for the Link 16 TDL sale, standalone net leverage as of June 30, 2022 would have decreased from 4.2x to approximately 1.4x LTM Adjusted EBITDA. Further, the proceeds from the sale are expected to reduce the combined Viasat and Inmarsat net leverage following the closing of the Inmarsat acquisition by approximately 0.7 of a turn by June 30, 2023. Viasat expects proceeds to fully fund path to positive free cash flow, including the proposed Inmarsat transaction, with lower leverage and less cash interest.
After giving pro forma effect to the Link 16 TDL sale, Viasat’s Government Systems segment would have generated approximately $700 million in annual revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, 2022. Moving forward, this segment will focus on three core areas: broadband and narrowband Satcom services, networking and technology; information assurance and cybersecurity; and an emerging portfolio of space-based services, including LEO to GEO relay and networks for a range of earth observation and sensor systems, alternate position, navigation and timing (PNT) and space situational awareness.
The Inmarsat transaction continues to proceed as expected. Both of these transactions will better support Viasat’s transition to earning a greater proportion of revenues from recurring services-based models. Pro forma for the Link 16 TDL sale and the Inmarsat acquisition, Viasat expects recurring services revenue to increase to approximately 77% of total combined revenues.
The Link 16 TDL sale is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2023 and is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Viasat received approval for the Link 16 TDL sale from Inmarsat’s equity sponsors.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as lead financial advisor and PJT Partners is serving as financial advisor to Viasat. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Viasat. BCS Bureau