July 31, 2013 08.06 Europe/London By Robert Briel
Eutelsat Communications has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex) for an enterprise value of US$1,142 million.
The acquisition, together with the recently ordered Eutelsat 65 West A satellite, will position the group as a major satellite operator in Latin America, reflecting its strategy to expand in high growth markets.
“The acquisition of Satmex, together with the order announced yesterday of our satellite for 65° West will make Eutelsat a key operator in vibrant digital markets across Latin America,” said Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, “With Satmex’s strategic orbital slots, state of the art fleet and upcoming satellites, Eutelsat is gaining a robust platform from which to access the significant opportunities in this region. Via these two strategic steps, we are significantly upscaling our presence in Latin America to complement our footprint in fast-growing markets, and securing future sources of growth and value creation.”
Patricio Northland, CEO of Satmex, added: “This is a very positive outcome for the shareholders and other stakeholders of Satmex, and I am delighted at the prospect of Satmex joining the Eutelsat Group. Our fleet will provide Eutelsat with a unique strategic opportunity to enter the fast-growing Latin American market and obtain premier orbital locations across the continent. Our clients will benefit from the integration of our network into Eutelsat’s world-class satellite fleet and operations. This transaction would not have been possible without the dedication and leadership of Satmex’s management team, as well as its world-class employees.”
Based in Mexico, Satmex operates three satellites at contiguous positions, 113.0 degrees West (Satmex 6), 114.9 degrees West (Satmex 5) and 116.8 degrees West (Satmex 8) that cover 90% of the population of the Americas. The company benefits from frequency rights in C and Ku-bands and was granted Ka-band rights in 2012. It has an 11% market share in Latin America where it enjoys a strong franchise in corporate data networks and cellular backhaul. Satmex is targeting an increased contribution from video through its positions at 113.0 degrees West and 116.8° West including through the recently launched Satmex 8 satellite which is well positioned to exploit video opportunities.
Eutelsat will acquire 100% of the share capital of Satmex for US$831 million. Based on Satmex’s reported net debt of US$311 million at March 31, 2013, this price corresponds to an enterprise value of US$1,142 million.