Measat Shareholder Bids for Remainder of Company

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PARIS — A Malaysian billionaire is bidding to purchase the portion of satellite fleet operator Measat that he does not already own in an offer that has received preliminary approval from the company’s board of directors and values its equity at more than $500 million, Measat announced July 28.

Ananda Krishnan and his Measat Global Network Systems Sdn. Bhd. (MGNS) are offering 4.20 Malaysian ringgits per share for 159 million shares, or 667 million ringgits ($209.1 million) for the 40.4 percent of Measat that MGNS does not own.

The price represents a 10 percent premium over where Measat was trading on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange, Bursa Malaysia, before the proposed deal was made public July 28. The MGNS offer gives an implied value of Measat’s equity of some $513 million.

Measat’s revenue for the first three months of 2010 was up 30 percent, to 70.5 million ringgits, compared with the same period a year earlier. Pretax profit was 56.4 million ringgits compared with a loss a year earlier.

The company, which owns four in-orbit satellites and is expanding into Southern and Central Asia, reported total revenue of 251 million ringgits in 2009 and said its satellites were 83 percent full at the end of the year, compared with 73 percent a year earlier. EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was 66 percent of revenue.

Measat recently reached an agreement with the government of Azerbaijan to buy a satellite to be launched into the orbital slot of 46 degrees east.

Measat, in a July 28 announcement, said its board “does not intend to seek an alternative” to the MGNS offer. The company has hired an independent adviser to assess the bid, with a report due within 10 days.

Krishnan successfully bid earlier this year to take over Astro All Asian Networks, the Malaysian television broadcaster that is a principal Measat customer.