Tampnet Inc., the US subsidiary of the Norwegian-based leading offshore high capacity and low latency communications provider Tampnet AS (Tampnet), has reached an agreement to acquire Broadpoint LLC (Broadpoint), a pioneer within offshore communications to the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). In addition, Tampnet has entered into a long-term strategic roaming agreement with a leading telecom carrier.
Broadpoint owns and operates a 2G/GSM (2G) network consisting of around 50 base stations with placements on rigs and platforms in the GoM, as well as certain telecom frequency licenses, and is serving the offshore industry in the GoM. Broadpoint also provides roaming services to telecom carriers who, in turn, offer voice and data services to their clients in remote offshore areas.
Tampnet will with the acquisition offer premium, Gulf-wide 4G/LTE (4G) coverage to the O&G industry in the region, its resellers and its roaming partners by upgrading the existing 2G network to offer robust and reliable 4G service. In parallel to the very strategic acquisition of Broadpoint, Tampnet has entered into a long-term roaming agreement with a leading telecom carrier – enabling the carrier to utilize the state-of-the art, offshore 4G infrastructure to offer high-capacity and low-latency data and voice services to its clients in the GoM.
“This is an important strategic step for Tampnet’s presence in the GoM and also a great leap for the O&G industry in the region. We are excited about being able to provide the industry with the latest high capacity and low latency 4G-technology in the same manner as we do in the North Sea. We believe that this will not only enable OPEX reduction potential for the O&G industry, but more importantly, also improve the HSEQ standards”, said Per Helge Svensson, CEO of Tampnet Group.
“Tampnet is already operating the world’s largest 4G/LTE network serving the O&G industry in the North Sea and they are clearly the leading company with skills to build and operate a network infrastructure in a harsh offshore environment. We feel confident that Tampnet can develop the GoM infrastructure to the next level introducing 4G/LTE services”, said Jonathan Foxman, President & CEO of Broadpoint.
Tampnet operates the largest offshore high capacity communication network in the world and serves more than 240 O&G platforms, Floating Production Storage and Offloading units (FPSOs) and exploration rigs on the Danish, Norwegian and the UK continental shelves of the North Sea as well as in the GoM. In total, Tampnet owns and operates a redundant offshore infrastructure network based on 2,500km of subsea fiber optic cable in the North Sea, complemented with a large number of high-capacity, carrier grade radio links and 4G base stations.
Tampnet is since 2012 owned by the EQT Infrastructure I and EQT Infrastructure II funds (EQT Infrastructure). EQT Infrastructure is part of EQT, the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with over EUR 22 billion in raised capital. EQT Infrastructure has extensive experience from both the communication and O&G sectors, and sees strong growth and strategic development potential for Tampnet with the acquisition of Broadpoint and the long-term partnership with the telecom carrier.
The foregoing transactions are subject to customary closing conditions, including Federal Communications Commission approvals. The transactions are anticipated to close in late 2015 or early 2016.