— Retires All Acquisition-related Debt and Returns 80% of Capital to Investors Just Over One Year After Completing Deal —
NEW YORK, N.Y., March 26, 2004 – Only a little more than a year after acquiring Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN) in February 2003, Falconhead Capital today announced that it has successfully completed a recapitalization of MTN that includes the retirement of all remaining acquisition-related debt, the return to Falconhead investors of approximately 80 percent of the equity capital committed to the deal, and a new, robust and flexible bank facility.
Falconhead Capital, of New York, is a private investment firm specializing in leisure-, lifestyle-, media- and sports-related businesses. MTN, based in Miramar, Florida, is theleading provider of satellite-based communications, networking, and other services to the cruise and offshore oil and gas industries. The cruise ship industry is an estimated $15 billion business that serves nearly 10 million vacationers annually, and in which passenger growth has averaged more than 8 percent annually since 1980.
David Moross, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Falconhead, said: “We acquired MTN early last year because it was the clear leader in its business, with a strong market position, an experienced management team, proven technology, and what we believed to be tremendous growth potential. With the strategic and financial backing of Falconhead, MTN has made great strides in realizing that potential. We are delighted to be able to return capital to our limited partners and to retire MTN’s acquisition-related debt so soon after acquiring this business and establishing it, for the very first time, as a standalone company.”
David B. Kagan, Chief Executive Officer of MTN, said: “Falconhead’s deep understanding of the dynamics of our industry and its active involvement in the development and implementation of our business strategy have been a big plus for MTN over the past year. With the active support of David Moross and his colleagues on the Falconhead team, we have been able to better serve our existing customers, win new customers, launch new strategic initiatives, and significantly grow our business. The Falconhead team has proven to be an excellent value-added partner.”
Among MTN’s principal business accomplishments since its acquisition by Falconhead are:
- The renewal of five-year agreements with the cruise industry’s leading cruise companies, providing them with an array of communication services including voice, data, Internet cafés, Wi-Fi hotspots, and digital printable newspapers. MTN now serves fifteen major cruise lines comprising more than one hundred ships as well as numerous oil and gas facilities globally.
- A joint venture with AT&T Wireless, announced on March 16, 2004, that will enable MTN’s customers and their cruise ship guests to enjoy the convenience of using their wireless phones while at sea.
- The installation of satellite-based communications services on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the world’s newest and largest ocean liner. In a January 2004 project with Cunard Line and ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” ABC used MTN’s communications platform to broadcast live segments with “Good Morning America” lifestyle correspondent Lara Spencer during the national morning program from aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 while the ship was at sea on its maiden voyage.
- Multiple agreements to provide the U.S. government with various services around the world.
- A non-exclusive agreement with NBC, announced in March 2003, under which MTN designed, built and delivered to NBC a unique vehicle that came to be known as “the Bloom Mobile”—a truck-based mobile satellite transmission platform with which NBC war correspondent David Bloom provided NBC affiliates and viewers worldwide with direct, live mobile satellite broadcasts from the front lines of the war in Iraq before his tragic death there, from natural causes, in early April.
The renegotiation of multi-year satellite space segment agreements to serve the global needs of MTN’s expanding customer base.
Financing for the recapitalization was provided by Bank of America, which last year structured and provided senior debt financing for Falconhead’s acquisition of MTN.
Maritime Telecommunications Network, Inc. (MTN), the leader in maritime communications, provides broadband solutions for voice, data, Internet and compressed video services to the cruise and offshore industries using state-of-the-art VSAT technology. MTN is focused on cost-effective, high-speed satellite solutions while maintaining the highest standards of quality and availability. MTN's Digital Seas Internet product, the first Information Technology concession, provides turnkey Internet Cafés and Wi-Fi Hot Spots to the cruise and offshore Industries. MTN was acquired last year by an investor group led by Falconhead Capital. More information on MTN is available at www.mtnsat.com.
Falconhead Capital LLC (www.falconheadcapital.com), whose principal fund is Sports Capital Partners, L.P., is a private investment firm established in 1998 to provide investors with significant long-term capital appreciation by investing globally in leisure-, lifestyle-, media- and sports-related businesses. The firm's investment partners include the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the nation’s largest public pension fund, which has committed to invest a minimum of $122 million in Falconhead funds. Falconhead’s investment strategy is also backed by its strategic partner, IMG, the world's largest sports marketing and management firm. Falconhead is headquartered at 527 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022; telephone: 212-634-3304.
Roy Winnick or Mark Semer
Kekst and Company 212-521-4842 or 4802