Abertis Telecom To Sell Half of its Eutelsat Stake

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PARIS — Eutelsat’s biggest shareholder, Spanish telecommunications infrastructure provider Abertis Telecom, on Jan. 12 announced it is selling half its stake in the satellite fleet operator in a transaction valued at about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

Barcelona-based Abertis said the “accelerated placement” sale of 16 percent of Eutelsat’s share capital will be managed by Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale, and will be accompanied by a six-month lockup for Abertis’ remaining Eutelsat stake.

Abertis currently has a 31.4 percent equity stake in Paris-based Eutelsat, the world’s third-largest provider of fixed satellite telecommunications services. The sale will be of 16 percent of Eutelsat, Abertis said in a statement. Eutelsat’s stock closed at 29.75 euros per share on Jan. 12.

Abertis did not explain why it is seeking to dispose of such a large stake in Eutelsat so quickly. But in recent weeks market speculation over Abertis’ own status as an acquisition target has suggested that the company would be seeking to raise cash.