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Global Eagle reported strong revenues for Q1 ’19, with both the connectivity and content businesses delivering solid gains. A significant new connectivity contract was signed in Q1, delivering what the company expects will be its second largest connected fleet when all the planes are online. And further details on a new content contract, expected to be one of the largest in the industry, were also disclosed.
The commercial maritime business (i.e. cruise ships) was a bright spot in the EMC acquisition and continues to grow its install base and revenues. It also continues to attract attention from other parties. Global Eagle disclosed this week that it has received repeated inquiries about that segment of the company from multiple parties and that it has established a management committee to consider those offers.
At the time of the acquisition the synergies in network management and bandwidth costs were seen as driving significant value to the combined operation. Inmarsat, Viasat and others suggest similar efficiencies of scale help in lowering the overall costs of their solutions for all segments. At the same time, CEO Josh Marks notes that aviation connectivity is “a very unique business one that requires a very significant amount of engineering knowhow” and an operation where the legal and practical setup remains separate from the other businesses. While Global Eagle would lose some of the bandwidth procurement benefits if the maritime business were to separate the overall impact would likely be small.