JetBlue to sell LiveTV subsidiary to Thales Group
March 13, 2014, New York, N.Y. - JetBlue Airways announced today it has agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV to Thales Group for $400 million. The sale which is subject to regulatory and other approvals is expected to be completed in mid-2014.
LiveTV is the leading provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines. In 2013, LiveTV and its partner ViaSat introduced Ka-band satellite-driven onboard connectivity, a game changing technological advancement.
"LiveTV has been an important part of building the JetBlue experience," said JetBlue President Robin Hayes. "Their ability to combine market leadership and drive technological advances has given JetBlue a market advantage in the onboard experience. We now come to the point where LiveTV's future as a disrupter in the inflight entertainment and data services space is best served by pairing with the right partner. We found that partner in Thales, themselves innovators in the technology space."
"LiveTV is a great strategic fit for Thales," commented Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO Thales. "It will improve our positioning in the high growth business of In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity. Our aim is to offer the highest performance and most competitive and flexible connectivity solution to airlines regardless of their fleet-size, aircraft type or route structure.
"Passengers increasingly expect broadband internet services at home, at work and on the move. Airlines want to enable their passengers to have access to this connected environment within the aircraft, allowing them to interact with both social media and professional networks while they travel. Thales will provide solutions that cater to this need" he continued.
"We look forward to joining the Thales Group," said LiveTV President Glenn Latta. "We have benefitted greatly from JetBlue's leadership and guidance, and we are now positioned to further influence the inflight entertainment, connectivity and data services space, with Thales' leadership."
Concurrent with the closing of this transaction, JetBlue will enter into long term agreements with LiveTV to continue providing support for its live TV and inflight connectivity product, Fly-Fi. "This transaction, once completed, preserves JetBlue's access to the most innovative inflight entertainment," said JetBlue CFO Mark Powers. "At the same time, we believe JetBlue will benefit from reduced operating costs and capital expenditures related to running LiveTV as a subsidiary."