Eutelsat Closes Satmex Purchase

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat on Jan. 2 said it had completed its $831 million cash purchase of Mexico’s Satmex, giving Eutelsat a major beachhead in the robust Latin American market alongside rivals Intelsat, SES, Telesat and others.

The acquisition, which includes the assumption of some $300 million in Satmex debt, was announced in July. Eutelsat said its mid-December issue of 930 million euros ($1.28 billion) in six-year bonds, paying a 2.63 percent annual interest rate, would be used to finance the deal.

Satmex reported 2012 revenue of $111.8 million with an EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, margin of nearly 80 percent.

Satmex operates three satellites at three orbital slots and has two more on order and scheduled for launch in 2015. In addition to these spacecraft, Paris-based Eutelsat had already signaled its intentions in Latin America with a mid-2013 contract with manufacturer Space Systems Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., to build a C-, Ku- and Ka-band satellite covering Brazil.

That satellite, called Eutelsat 65 West A, will operate at Brazil’s 65 degrees west orbital position, to which Eutelsat won rights to at an auction organized by Brazil’s Anatel regulatory authority.

 

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