The deal was completed last week after less than two months of serious negotiations. Inmedia had approached the recently bought NTL Broadcast earlier this year to buy its media service assets but the deal was soon turned on its head. Inmedia's majority shareholder, The Carlyle Group, a private equity group more likely to make a quick sale for profit than investment bankers Macquarie, decided to sell at double the£34m price tag it had paid last April.
Additional revenues of around£3m were added to the Inmedia business when W1 uplinking facility Cast was bought from the Barnes Media Trust in a multimillion-pound deal ( Broadcast, 14.1.05).
Inmedia managing director Nick Thompson will head a new division once his company has been integrated with Arqiva's media services business. Thompson, who will report to Arqiva chief executive Tom Bennie, expects that there will be over 300 staff working for him. Some staff cuts are expected after a 60-day assessment period but, according to Thompson: "Both companies have been performing well. Neither are overstaffed or overhead heavy."
Arqiva's experience and business lies predominantly in UK terrestrial and satellite transmission - it will be responsible for much of the infrastructure changes necessary for digital switchover. Arqiva provides services for ITV, Channel 4, S4C and Five. Inmedia's business is more international, covering satellite, IP, voice and data services as well as UK direct-to-home satellite broadcasting.
NTL Broadcast was bought last December for£1.27bn by an Australian consortium led by the Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group. The business, which has since been branded Arqiva, provides broadcast transmission, playout and tower site leasing.