March 13, 2014

LiveTV, which revolutionized the inflight entertainment space, pursues aggressive growth strategy.

On March 13, it was announced that JetBlue Airways has agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV to Willkie client Thales Group for $400 million. LiveTV is the leading provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines. The company revolutionized the inflight entertainment space, and with this transaction is now pursuing an aggressive growth strategy. Last year, the company and its partner ViaSat introduced Ka-band satellite-driven onboard connectivity, a game changing technological advancement.

Thales is a global technology leader in the aerospace, transportation and defense & security markets. With 65,000 employees in 56 countries, the company in 2013 generated revenues of €14.2 billion. JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 82 cities in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 800 daily flights.

Willkie previously represented Thales in its €1.7 billion acquisition of Alcatel SA's satellite, transport signalling and critical infrastructure protection activities, and in its 2012 purchase of the head mounted display and motion tracking businesses of Gentex Corporation.

The current deal was handled by a cross-border, multidisciplinary Willkie team including: Corporate: partners Daniel Hurstel and A. Mark Getachew and associate Gal Davidovitch; Intellectual Property: partner Eugene Chang; Benefits: partner Michael Katz and associate Andrew Shapiro; Tax: partner Christopher Peters and associate Robert Larimore; Regulatory: partner Thomas Jones and special counsel Russell Smith and Michael Jones; Antitrust: partners Wesley Powell and Jacques-Philippe Gunther, special counsel Jonathan Konoff, special European counsel Faustine Viala, and associates Clémence Hardy and Lauren Verdirame.