Etisalat sells Thuraya stake for $37 million


WASHINGTON — Emirati telecommunications company Etisalat has sold its 28 percent stake in satellite operator Thuraya to fellow Emirati satellite operator YahSat for $37 million.

Etisalat, which helped create Thuraya by leading a formative $500 million investment round in 1997, informed the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange of the sale in an Aug. 1 letter from Etisalat Chief Financial Officer Serkan Okandan. The securities exchange released the letter Aug. 2.

YahSat announced intentions to acquire a majority stake in Thuraya, an operator of two L-band satellites used for voice and data services, in April. Okandan said Etisalat sold its shares of Thuraya to a YahSat company called Star Satellite Communications Company following the completion of regulatory approvals and “YahSat’s condition of acquiring at least 75.001% of Thuraya.”

YahSat operates a fleet of three satellites, providing television broadcast and data connectivity services in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil.

The exact size of Etisalat’s stake was 28.042 percent.