ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) has purchased Arconics, a software developer for the aircraft industry, further expanding a previous partnership between the two companies. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Arconics manufactures software and mobile applications to make flying more efficient for aircraft operators and passengers. The target, based in Dublin, Ireland, develops technology for pilots and cabin crew to manage document control and aircraft data, while also providing in-flight entertainment (IFE) for flyers. Arconics technology has been used by airlines including: Qatar Airways, Thomson Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Philippine Airlines Inc., Aer Lingus Group Plc., Tiger Airways Australia Ltd. and Air Niugini Ltd. Prior to the acquisition, the target and ViaSat had a strategic partnership to provide wireless IFE for multiple airline clients.
ViaSat is a broadband service provider headquartered in Carlsbad, California and now establishes its presence in Ireland as part of the deal. CEO Niall O’Sullivan and more than 30 Arconics employees will join the buyer. Using the target’s technology, ViaSat plans to offer airlines real-time insight, control and agility of aircraft and flight data.
Since air travel has increased over recent years, strategic buyers and private equity firms have shown an increased interest in deals involving aircraft tech and the aerospace industry. Related deals include: The Hearst Corp. buying Camp Systems Intl. Inc., a developer of software for managing aircraft maintenance; AE Industrial Partners LLC raised its first fund, valued at $680 million, dedicated to making aerospace deals; private equity firm ParkerGale purchased aircraft data company Aircraft Technical Publishers in 2015; and Apollo Aviation Group also raised its third aerospace focused fund, valued at $833 million, in the same year. IBI Corporate Finance served as financial adviser to Arconics.