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Inmarsat OKs £1bn float

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Inmarsat is to float its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) valuing the satellite operator at £1bn.

The company intends to use the cash it raises from the initial public offering (IPO) to refinance part of its debt and to fund future investment.

Shares are expected to be sold at between 215p to 245p helping the global comms provider raise around $690m (£380m).

Said chairman and CEO Andrew Sukawaty in a statement: "We are delighted to announce Inmarsat's intention to float. We are looking forward to the opportunities afforded by public company status, and we will use the proceeds of the IPO to strengthen our balance sheet."

With ten geostationary satellites, Inmarsat provides a wide range of data and voice services, including telephony, fax, video, email and high-speed intranet and internet access.

Its customers include US and UK military, media outfits including CNN and the BBC, and companies such as Shell and British Airways.

In 2004 Inmarsat generated revenues of $480m (£265m) and operating profit of $159m (£88m). ®

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