Tampnet AS, the Norwegian-based leading offshore high capacity and low latency communications provider, has reached an agreement to acquire the wireless Managed Services provider AirTap Communications, LLC from a group of private investors.
AirTap is a Louisiana-based Managed Services provider with the first-to-market low latency, high-speed World Interoperability for Microwave Access (“WiMAX”) network in the Gulf of Mexico (“GoM”). AirTap’s Managed Services exploit the power of Converged IP in remote areas that are accustomed to low capacity and high latency performance from satellite networks. AirTap’s WiMAX network integrates with satellite and carrier services, enhancing the customer experience and enabling content at remote work sites.
“AirTap is a niche player that operates a unique redundant network in the GoM. We view the GoM as an interesting market that is rapidly expanding and our long-term objective is to be able to offer the clients in the GoM the same high capacity and low latency communication as we do in the North Sea. We are excited about the growth prospects that the acquisition gives Tampnet, and we look forward to developing the infrastructure in the GoM together with the employees of AirTap”, says Per Helge Svensson, CEO of Tampnet.
“Tampnet is the industry leader in the North Sea and we welcome them as new owners. We believe that the industry best practices developed by Tampnet in the North Sea will improve our customer experience in the GoM. Also, with strong financial backing from Tampnet, AirTap will be able to rapidly expand and improve its network coverage with proven technology”, says David Heximer, CEO and President of AirTap.
Tampnet operates the largest offshore high capacity communication network in the world and serves more than 100 Oil & Gas (“O&G”) platforms, Floating Production Storage and Offloading units (so called FPSOs) and exploration rigs on the Danish, Norwegian and the UK continental shelves of the North Sea. In total, Tampnet owns and operates a redundant subsea infrastructure network of 1,500 km fiber and circa 35 radio links and leases capacity in an additional 900 km of subsea fiber. Tampnet is since 2012 wholly owned by EQT Infrastructure I and EQT Infrastructure II (the “EQT Infrastructure Funds”). The EQT Infrastructure Funds are part of EQT, the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with over EUR 20 billion of raised capital. EQT 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 AirTap. The transaction is subject to clearance from United States authorities.