Partnership further strengthened by joint venture company for the American and transatlantic markets
Paris, August 2, 2001- Eutelsat S.A, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, today signed an agreement with Hispasat, Spain’s national satellite operator, to acquire a total of 21.15 per cent of the company with the potential to increase its stake in excess of 30 per cent. Eutelsat will be a key strategic shareholder and partner in Hispasat. The agreement was signed in Madrid by Hispasat’s CEO Antonio Martin Marin, its shareholders (Auna, Telefonica Media and BBVA) and Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat Chairman of the Management Board and CEO.
Eutelsat and Hispasat also announced that they are establishing a joint venture company called Amazonas that will launch a satellite to 61 degrees West in 2003 with the purpose of commercialising capacity in the Americas and the transatlantic marketplace. Eutelsat will participate together with Hispasat in this company which will develop new products and services with particular focus on the broadband market.
Eutelsat’s investment in Hispasat will be carried out in two phases. Eutelsat will acquire 17 per cent of the existing shareholders’ capital released in proportion to their holdings and simultaneously acquire five additional per cent through the subscription to a capital increase of Hispasat. In a second phase Eutelsat could potentially acquire up to a further eight per cent of the company from shareholders and five per cent through newly issued shares.
Said Giuliano Berretta: “This substantial investment in Hispasat and the commitment to combine our strengths in the Amazonas satellite programme for Latin America underscores Eutelsat’s clear objective to take centre stage in the global satellite market. Achieved exactly one month after our privatisation this investment perfectly matches our determination to strengthen our presence in new regions where we have already committed significant resources in the form of ATLANTIC BIRDs 1 and 2 and where we anticipate exciting business growth. This alliance incorporates the synergies and added value that we seek in developing strategic partnerships.”
The investment in Hispasat and the creation of the joint venture company meets Eutelsat’s objectives of accelerating its presence in the fast-growing Latin American market and of developing a product offering in Europe that best serves the needs of its customers. It will provide Latin American businesses with access to Europe where Eutelsat is the leading operator for broadcasting, multimedia and business services. It offers significant opportunities for synergy by jointly running satellite systems and sharing technology.
Credit Suisse First Boston acted as exclusive financial advisor to Eutelsat in this transaction.
Eutelsat is one of the world’s most established and experienced providers of satellite communications solutions and expertise on a global basis. Headquartered in Paris, its team of 360 people from 23 countries manages a satellite infrastructure that assures delivery of consumer television and radio, Internet access and multimedia entertainment, IP business solutions, corporate network solutions and professional communications applications. On July 2 2001 Eutelsat changed legal status into a private limited liability company (société anonyme) under French law. Revenues grew to €686 million in 2000.
Since it was founded in 1989, Hispasat has administered the Spanish orbital position of 30 degrees West and made its capacity on three satellites (Hispasat 1A, 1B, 1C) available to telecommunications operators and broadcasters. The company provides coverage over Spain and Portugal across the Atlantic, all the Latin American countries and the United States. A fourth satellite Hispasat 1D will be launched in 2002.
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