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Date Sep 24, 2012
Source TA

TA Associates Completes Buyout of SpeedCast Ltd

BOSTON and HONG KONG - TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced it has, with the support of SpeedCast’s management team, completed a buyout of SpeedCast Ltd, a leading global network and satellite communications service provider, from Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. ("AsiaSat").

SpeedCast provides very small aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite-based broadband access services, managed networking solutions and value-added services in more than 30 countries primarily in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. SpeedCast’s customers include telecom carriers, Internet service providers, governments and non-governmental organizations, and other enterprises requiring communication services in locations where wire-based communication is not possible or practical, or where mobility is required. Through its SeaCast™ offering, the company serves the broadband needs of the maritime and offshore oil and gas industries. The company utilizes 16 teleports (satellite ground stations) across the globe and more than 20 VSAT hubs, and operates eight sales and support centers. Founded in 1999, SpeedCast is headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Beijing, Singapore, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

"As a profitable and rapidly growing company, SpeedCast ideally fits TA’s investment profile," said Edward F. Sippel, Managing Principal – Asia Pacific at TA Associates, who will join the SpeedCast Board of Directors. "As one of the largest VSAT operators serving Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and one of the few with a multi-country footprint, SpeedCast has the opportunity to become the leading provider in a vibrant and burgeoning market. TA looks forward to collaborating with SpeedCast management to execute a strategy of organic and acquisitive growth."

"We are pleased to welcome TA Associates as an investor in SpeedCast and to our Board of Directors,” said Pierre-Jean Beylier, CEO, SpeedCast, who will continue as CEO of the business. “We look forward to working with TA because of their demonstrated ability to add value to their portfolio companies, and because of their management-friendly approach. We see several near- and long-term opportunities for growth in our markets and will benefit from TA’s support on these endeavors."

VSAT service revenues in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are projected to grow at an 8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years, approximately twice the rate of Western markets, according to industry analyst Comsys. The global maritime VSAT market is experiencing particularly robust growth. Comsys reported that worldwide maritime VSAT service revenues doubled to $800 million between 2004 and 2009.

"We see a number of factors driving the positive growth prospects for SpeedCast," said Michael S. Berk, a Managing Director at TA Associates who will also join the SpeedCast Board of Directors. "Compared with Western markets, there is ample room for overall broadband penetration in SpeedCast’s operating regions, and wire-based broadband access is not yet economically viable in the remote locations and archipelagoes common in many Asian countries. In the maritime market, the shipping industry increasingly sees the need for broadband at sea to manage functions remotely, comply with data and communication requirements in the context of security, and as a tool for recruiting and retaining younger staff."

SpeedCast is TA's eighth investment in the region following its five earlier investments in India and two recent investments in companies operating in China – Forgame Tech Co., Ltd and Aicent, Inc. These investments have spanned industries from telecommunications and technology to healthcare to mining services, and have been both minority investments and buyouts in growth companies.

Goodwin Procter provided legal counsel to TA Associates.

About SpeedCast Ltd
SpeedCast Ltd is a leading global network and satellite communications service provider offering high-quality managed networks services in over 30 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With 8 international sales & support offices and 16 teleport operations, SpeedCast boasts a unique infrastructure to serve corporate and carriers' requirements. SpeedCast has distinguished itself with a strong operational expertise and a highly efficient support organization, which are the foundation of SpeedCast's success. For more information, visit www.speedcast.com

About TA Associates
Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced middle-market growth private equity firms. The firm has invested in over 400 companies globally and has raised $18 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the healthcare, technology, financial services, business services and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.