A Hispasat satellite control center. Credit: Hispasat

TAMPA, Fla. — One of Spain’s biggest defense contractors is considering buying a stake in Madrid-based satellite operator Hispasat, according to a local report citing unidentified market sources.

The Cinco Dias economic newspaper reported Dec. 28 that Indra is looking to sell off 800 million euros ($880 million) worth of technology assets to help fund the deal.

In response to SpaceNews questions, Indra spokesperson Antonio Tovar said the company does not comment on speculation, adding it is still working on a strategic plan that it expects to present March 6.

Hispasat did not respond to a request for comment.

The satellite operator is majority-owned by Spanish power company Red Eléctrica, which acquired an 89.7% stake for 949 million euros from a private equity firm in 2019.

Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), a Spanish state-holding company, is an investor in Hispasat and Indra.

Hispasat named Pedro Duque, a former Spanish minister of science and Iinnovation, as president of Hispasat Dec. 19 to replace Jordi Hereu following a proposal from SEPI.

Taking a stake in Hispasat would help Indra play a role in IRIS², Europe’s proposed 6 billion euro sovereign broadband constellation currently out for bids, Cinco Dias reported.

Hispasat is part of a consortium of European space leaders jointly bidding for work on IRIS², or Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite. The consortium also includes Indra’s European aerospace and defense rivals Airbus and Thales.

Indra employs more than 56,000 people and reported nearly 3.9 billion euros in 2022 revenues. Its space business currently focuses on military needs, such as satellite communications terminals.

Hispasat lists eight satellites in a geostationary fleet that provides broadband and broadcast services over Europe and the Americas, in addition to two governmental satellites belonging to its Hisdesat joint venture.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...