Abertis raising Hispasat stake

Spain's government has authorized major telco and transmission company Abertis Telecom to take 5% more in satellite operator Hispasat from Spanish space manufacturer EADS/CASA.

By means of this operation which was originally announced last October and will cost 35 million, Abertis strenghtens its presence in Hispasat raising its share to 33.4%. That will consolidate its position as first shareholder.

Abertis acquired last July from EHE (former telecommunications operator Auna) and the bank BBVA (both Hispasat's private shareholders) 28.4% of the company for 199 million after being given the green light from European competition authorities as well as from the Spanish government.

Hispasat's fleet is made up of three operational satellites (Hispasat 1C, Hispasat 1D, both for European coverage, and Amazonas 1, for American coverage). With more than 1,000 channels the operator leads Spain and Portugal's telecommunications market and at the same time constitutes the first bridge for the telecommunications between Europe and America.

Over the next few years Hispasat will launch three new satellites so doubling its orbital capacity. In 2007 the operator registered income of 128 million at the same time as the company got EBITDA of 101 million and benefits of 36 million.