Telesat Posts Solid Results as Possible IPO Looms

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat Canada, whose shareholders are discussing whether to take the company public with an initial stock offering, said Oct. 24 it expects third-quarter revenue to increase by 10 percent, and gross profit by 13 percent, compared with a year ago.

Telesat cautioned that the figures are preliminary. Final results will be announced in November.

The Ottawa, Ontario-based company had told investors in recent months to expect a revenue spike when the Nimiq 6 satellite entered service. The satellite was declared operational in June and is fully leased for 15 years by Canada’s Bell TV.

Also helping the third-quarter results was Telesat’s ownership of the nine Canadian beams on the ViaSat-1 Ka-band broadband satellite, which was declared operational early this year.

Telesat said that for the three months ending Sept. 30, it expects to report 220 million Canadian dollars ($223.5 million) in revenue and 174.7 million Canadian dollars in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, for an EBITDA margin of 79.4 percent.

The company said its backlog as of Sept. 30 was 5.2 billion Canadian dollars, a decline of 3.7 percent from a year ago.

Telesat is owned by Loral Space and Communications of New York and Canada’s PSP Investments. Loral has a 64 percent economic stake but just a 33.3 percent voting ownership in the company.

When Loral and PSP purchased Telesat they agreed that either could force Telesat to conduct an initial public offering if none had been undertaken by October 2011. In an August filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Loral said PSP in late July served notice on Loral that it was exercising its right to force a Telesat IPO. Loral said it was evaluating its alternatives in response to the PSP notice.