Satellite operator SES Global is expanding its presence in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia via the $1.2bn acquisition of smaller rival New Skies Satellites. The deal—which is subject to regulatory approval—is the latest in the rapidly consolidating satellite market, and follow's Intelsat's proposed $3.2bn acquisition of PanAmSat, announced in September.
Luxembourg-headquartered SES Global is acquiring Bermuda-based New Skies for $22.52 per share in cash, and will refinance part of its debt.
New Skies, whose main operating subsidiary is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, is the world's fifth largest satellite operator based on transponder capacity, with five spacecraft positioned at strategic orbital locations around the globe and an additional satellite due for launch in 2006.
SES Global CEO Romain Bausch said: "New Skies is poised to become SES' third satellite infrastructure pillar, alongside Astra in Europe and Americom in North America and complementing SES' existing participations in Asia and Latin America.
"New Skies' fleet considerably strengthens our ability to provide satellite infrastructure and services in geographic regions and business segments with high growth rates. Furthermore, this acquisition provides SES with an existing cable neighborhood in Latin America and will facilitate the further development of SES' government services.
"With its state-of-the-art satellite fleet, blue chip customer base, strong growth profile, and experienced management team and highly skilled employees, we are pleased to welcome New Skies to SES."
The New Skies satellites are:
In addition, NSS-8 is currently under construction by Boeing Satellite Systems, and is slated for launch in the second half of 2006 to 57.0° East, replacing NSS-703 with increased performance and coverage. NSS-8 will feature 92 transponders with 9 C- and Ku-band beams interconnecting Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia. The planned EOL for NSS-8 is 2020.
Meanwhile SES Global's European subsidiary, SES Astra, said it had concluded an agreement with TV Vlaanderen for the launch of Belgium's first satellite platform in January 2006.
TV Vlaanderen is a bouquet of Flemish and international channels which will be broadcast via Astra at the orbital position 19.2 degrees East.
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