Thuraya denies any contact with Chinese suitor
WASHINGTON — Thuraya Communications says it has had no discussions with a Chinese company that said last week it was raising money to buy the mobile satellite services provider.
Hong Kong-based China Trends Holdings Limited told the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong’s Growth Enterprise Market Jan. 10 that it was pursuing the purchase of Thuraya by acquiring another company, Skynet Satellite Data Limited. Skynet, also based in Hong Kong, has a memorandum of understanding with Thuraya, along with partners Poly LM Asset Management Co., Ltd. and GC Capital Partners Limited, to invest in the Dubai, UAE-based satellite operator’s “next generation project” — likely a reference to Thuraya’s planned Futura constellation.
Thuraya told SpaceNews Jan. 17 that Futura has drawn greater attention to the operator over the past five months, but that there are no exclusive arrangements with any companies at this time. Thuraya currently has two satellites, Thuraya-2 and Thuraya-3, covering most of the world with the exception of the Americas. The company intends to achieve global coverage with Futura, its next generation L- and Ka-band satellite system currently being fundraised, with the goal of launching in 2020.
China Trends Holdings on Dec. 30, arranged convertible notes with a placing agent to raise $195 million for the acquisition of Thuraya.
Here is the full text of Thuraya’s statement:
Thuraya has never had any discussion of any kind with China Trends. There is considerable interest in Thuraya’s products and services from around the globe, and this was enhanced recently by September’s announcement that our next generation capability plans have been finalized. While we are certainly aware of the attention Thuraya has been gaining, as has been evident during our ongoing fundraising activities, it is worth stating that we do not have any exclusivity agreement in place with any company.