ArabSat acquires Greek operator Hellas Sat, expands services in Europe

ArabSat, the leading communications satellite operator in the Middle East, expanded its business partnership with South Eastern Europe telecom group, Hellenic Telecommunication Organization, by purchasing its 99.05 percent equity participation in Hellas-Sat Consortium for 208 million euros. The remaining 0.95 percent share is held by the operation’s original founders.

The deal, scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2013, was signed upon an aggregate consideration of 208 million euros which represents the 99.05 percent of Hellas-Sat’s enterprise value. It also correlates to seven times the EBITDA of Hellas Sat for the year 2012, as well as the cash held by Hellas-Sat on the completion date of the agreement.

With this new development, Arabsat now has the exclusive access to the 39 degrees East orbital position, 30 active transponders on HellasSat-2, and all associated radio frequencies from the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus. The satellite is said to have an expected lifespan of 15 years, which suggests that it will need to be replaced in the next four to five years.

Khalid A. Balkheyour, ArabSat’s President and CEO noted, “This step outlines Arabsat’s determination to pursue its strategic plan to grow its resources in terms of expanding to new orbital slots and new frequency rights, and to enter new markets. In 2012, Arabsat has presented before the satellite industry its vision to move from regional to global and become one of the top 5 satellite operators in the world by the year 2020. This transaction, in addition to the new 6th  satellite generation program encompassing the design, manufacturing and launch of 3 new satellites from now until 2016 proves that Arabsat is on the right track to achieve its vision.”

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Arabsat’s 6th generation satellite to be launched by Arianespace, Astrium, Thales Alenia Space

Three major companies – Arianespace, Astrium and Thales Alenia Space — have inked a new deal for the production and launch of Arabsat’s first 6th generation satellite, Arabsat-6B.

French Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg and Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Lohieddin Khoja were at the signing ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The next-generation satellite will be built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with the Saudi Arabian satcom operator, Arabsat. Thales Alenia Space will provide the payload, while Astrium will supply the Eurostar E3000 platform and will be responsible for satellite integration.

Offering a design life of more than 15 years, Arabsat-6B will weigh approximately 6,100 kg at launch. It will provide telecommunications and TV broadcasting services for the Middle East and Africa.

Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall released a statement regarding the new business partnership with Arabsat, saying: “We are especially proud to be working once again with Arabsat, a very prestigious customer with whom we have maintained favored relations since the launch of Arabsat-1A in 1985. I would also like to thank Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for once again placing their trust in us, within the scope of this new turnkey contract.”

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