Philippine Company Sells Mabuhay Satellite Corp.

by

Philippine Long Distance Co. (PLDT) has agreed to sell its 67 percent-ownership stake in Mabuhay Satellite Corp., which operates the Agila-2 telecommunications satellite and the Subic Space Center satellite control facility, to Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) of Hong Kong, PLDT said in a Nov. 6 statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Agila-2 was launched in 1997 and operates from 146 degrees east. It is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 spacecraft that carries 24 C-band, 24 Ku-band and six extended C-band transponders, and is designed to operate for 15 years.

PLDT reported that for the nine months ending Sept. 30, the company’s “satellite and other services” revenue increased by 17 percent, to 1.459 billion pesos ($30.7 million), compared with the same period a year earlier.

PLDT had struck a broad agreement with now-bankrupt ProtoStar Ltd. for capacity aboard the ProtoStar-1 satellite launched in 2008 as well as an equity stake in San Francisco- and Bermuda-based ProtoStar. ProtoStar-1 was recently sold at a U.S. bankruptcy court-managed auction and will be moved by new owner Intelsat to another orbital slot.

ABS operates the ABS-1 satellite at 75 degrees east and has announced its selection of Loral to build an ABS-2 satellite for launch in 2012 to expand its capacity at that orbital slot. ABS purchased the aging Koreasat-2 satellite from Korea’s KT Corp. in July, also for the 75 degrees east position, and said the satellite, renamed ABS-1A, has two years to three years of operational life remaining.