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Inmarsat, EADS And Thales Form Consortium To Bid For Galileo Concession

London, 05 December 2003

Inmarsat Ventures plc, EADS Space and the Thales Group announced today that they have submitted a joint tender to become the Galileo Concessionaire. The three consortium members are the respective European market leaders in the fields of mobile satellite communications, navigation-based products and services and aerospace. Together they bring an unmatched array of experience and competencies to the Galileo Programme. By joining forces in the consortium they are expressing their combined desire to push forward and develop the opportunity represented by Galileo.

Galileo is a European Union project to develop a new advanced satellite navigation system, superior to existing satellite navigation systems. The bid has been submitted to the Galileo Joint Undertaking, who is managing the development phase of Galileo on behalf of the European Commission (EC) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The bid responds to the first Call for pre-selection for the Galileo Concession. The Concessionaire is expected to take the lead in arranging for private financing of the deployment and operational phases of Galileo, and ultimately would become the Galileo Operating Company.

The Galileo programme is a major step forward for Europe. It is the first major European-level infrastructure procurement programme with a global dimension. It is also the first major Public Private Partnership (PPP) at a multinational level. It will bring numerous benefits to Europe, notably the opportunity to demonstrate how government and industry can cooperate to achieve both market and policy success.

Inmarsat is a world-leading provider of global mobile communications via satellite. “Along with our highly experienced partners in this project, I believe Inmarsat’s previous experience makes us uniquely able to contribute to the Galileo Project,” said Michael Storey President and CEO of Inmarsat Ventures plc. “Inmarsat is one of the most successful mobile satellite communications companies in the world and also one of the prime European satellite operators. Inmarsat has in place a global distribution network and unparalleled experience in all prime vertical markets that will be addressed by future Galileo services.”

EADS SPACE Services’ CEO Eric Béranger adds: “We believe our consortium can fulfil the vision of Galileo. Our expertise in large, complex Public Private Partnership schemes for Space programmes and in the development of associated applications and services on a global scale are second to none. EADS Space has recently demonstrated within the framework of its Paradigm subsidiary, its ability to secure debt financing to the value of 1.4 €billions for the UK military telecommunications satellite service programme Skynet 5.

"Thales is a global electronics company serving Aerospace, Defence, and Information Technology markets worldwide," said John Hughes Executive Vice President of Thales. "We have an unparalleled expertise in satellite navigation applications for all those markets, which will be essential for the success of this project".

About Inmarsat Ventures plc

Inmarsat Ventures plc is a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Its services include voice, fax, intranet and internet access and other data services used by multinational corporations, government agencies, media and international aid organisations and other enterprise level users in the maritime, land and aeronautical sectors.

Visit www.inmarsatventures.com for more information.


EADS SPACE Services is tasked with developing satellite service activities in the segments of telecommunications and navigation.

EADS SPACE Services is a fully owned subsidiary of EADS, European Aeronautic Defence and Space company. In 2002, EADS SPACE had a turnover of €2.2 billion and 12.300 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

About Thales

Thales is a world leader in professional electronics in three key markets: Aerospace, Defence and Information Technology & Services. The Group employs 65,000 people in nearly 50 countries worldwide, and generated revenues of over €11 billion in 2002, 77% of which came from international markets.

Dominic Cook
Tel: +44 20 7728 1256
Fax : +44 20 7728 1179
Email: dominic_cook@inmarsat.com

Simone Droll
Tel: +33 (0)1 57 77 80 32
Fax : +33 (0)1 57 77 84 93

Rémi Roland
Tel : +33 (0) 1 34 88 35 78

Mathias Pikelj
Tel: +49 (0) 7545 8-9122

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