Global Eagle acquires IFE Services; plans to combine content service units in 2014
Making good on its stated promise to further consolidate the inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) industry, and work towards creating an “entertainment in motion powerhouse”, Global Eagle Entertainment has bought the UK-based parent of IFE Services – Travel Entertainment Group Equity – for $36 million in cash.
The acquisition of Travel Entertainment Group Equity from private equity business GCP Capital Partners, together with Global Eagle’s recent acquisition of digital content specialist Post Modern Group (PMG), makes the firm “clearly the market leader” in content service provisioning, CFO Dave Davis tells the APEX Editor’s Blog. He believes rival Spafax is now the second largest Content Service Provider (CSP), after Global Eagle. Spafax could not be immediately reached for comment.
With a 20-year history, IFE Services provides a broad range of content solutions, spanning movies, TV programs, games, mobile apps, publications, safety videos and technical support to a worldwide client base of over 50 airline and cruise ship operators. For a “relatively short” period of time, IFE Services “will stay separate”, says Davis. However, Global Eagle’s goal is to combine the operations of its Advanced Inflight Alliance (AIA) subsidiary with IFE Services and Post Modern Group “into one group” in 2014.
“Things like back office, finance, human resources and IT will definitely be combined. In terms of [individual] brands, we may have some separate brands geographically, but our goal is to combine as much as possible,” says Davis, adding, “We think there are substantial synergies to be had in the combination.”