Harris CapRock Chief Predicts More Mergers

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The recent flurry of acquisitions in the satellite communications services industry has been driven by increasing customer demand for end-to-end network services on a global scale, according to Peter Shaper, group president of the newly formed Harris CapRock Communications.

Many regional players have been bought up by global firms, and that trend toward consolidation is likely to continue for perhaps two more years, Shaper said April 21 at a Washington Space Business Roundtable event.

Shaper’s firm has been front and center in the consolidation wave. Houston-based CapRock Communications traditionally provided communications services to commercial firms in remote locations. In 2007, CapRock bought Arrowhead Global Solutions of Fairfax, Va., which sells commercial satellite bandwidth and end-to-end networks to the U.S. government. Last year, Melbourne, Fla.-based Harris Corp. announced the acquisitions of CapRock and Schlumberger’s Global Connectivity Services business. Harris bought another telecommunications integrator, Core180, in March.

Shaper cited London-based mobile satellite services operator Inmarsat’s purchase of maritime satellite services provider Ship Equip of Norway in March as another example of the consolidation trend.

“What we’ve seen is market share from little regional players go to the firms that have made the investment to go global,” he said. “I think we’re going to see two more years of pretty active consolidation across the board.”