British investment fund wins control of Intelsat
Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

British investment fund BC Partners has bought a controlling stake in US firm Intelsat in a deal which values the world’s biggest commercial satellite communications provider at $5.03 billion. BC Partners and other unnamed investors have acquired 76 percent of shares in US-based Intelsat for the equivalent of about $3.75 billion, the pair said in a statement.

The transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval, is expected to complete in the next six to nine months. Intelsat owns a fleet of 51 commercial satellites which provide communications services across the global media, telecommunications and government sectors. The group’s current shareholders, including investment funds Apax Partners, Apollo Management, Madison Dearborn Partners, Permira and management, will retain 24 percent of Intelsat following the deal.

According to recent press reports, a US groups EchoStar Communications Corp and Liberty Media Corp had also made competing bids for Intelsat. In 2005, Intelsat bought its US rival PanAmSat for $3.2 billion to create the world’s largest provider of fixed satellite services (FSS).

“Intelsat and the FSS sector are in the midst of a cycle of strong performance,” said BC Partners’ managing partner Raymond Svider. ”Intelsat is the premier FSS satellite operator, with high-quality assets and a strong global brand.”

(Source: AFP)