By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
MIDDLETOWN – KVH Industries Inc. on Thursday announced its $48.9 million acquisition of Videotel, a London-based company that provides e-learning services, training videos and distance-learning courses for the commercial maritime industry.
“We recognized that our commercial maritime customers face significant challenges training and certifying the qualifications of their vessels’ crews,” said KVH CEO Martin Kits van Heyningen. “The acquisition of Videotel is an important addition to our portfolio of services targeting the needs of commercial seafarers and supports our strategic vision of extending our maritime broadband service to include delivering premium content to vessels.”
Kits van Heyningen said Videotel’s training services will also support the new job listings board KVH is planning to roll out on its Crewtoo social media site for mariners.
More than 11,000 vessels worldwide currently use Videotel for onboard training, KVH said. In addition to an extensive portfolio of more than 950 training films, Videotel’s platform includes a learning management system, as well as cloud-based recording and reporting management software to help shipping companies monitor and track training of their crews.
In 2013, Videotel group companies saw combined annual revenue of 14 million pounds, or about $24 million, and the company’s gross profit margin was approximately 73 percent.
“In our discussions with KVH, we quickly saw how the innovative mini-VSAT Broadband network and especially the new KVH IP-MobileCast content delivery service could really be leveraged to deliver our new training materials more efficiently and provide the affordable connectivity needed for our new distance learning services,” said Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel. “We’re excited to be part of the KVH family to propel the company forward on both the technological and delivery front, as well as to work with our new colleagues in developing the next generation of seafarer training.”
KVH financed the transaction from its cash on hand and proceeds from a new credit facility. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP acted as legal counsel to KVH.