Press Release

Eutelsat Communications Expands its Footprint to High Growth Asia-Pacific Markets Through Acquisition of GE-23

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2012
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Eutelsat Communications (ISIN: FR0010221234 – Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s leading satellite operators, today announced it has concluded negotiations to acquire the GE-23 satellite, associated customer contracts and orbital rights from GE Capital for US$228 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2012 (calendar), subject to regulatory approvals.

A High Quality Asset

Built by Thales Alenia Space, GE-23 was launched in December 2005 and has an expected useful life of 15 years. From its location in geostationary orbit at 172*E, the satellite offers unique coverage over the Asia-Pacific region via a payload of 20 Ku-band transponders accessing five interconnecting beams and 18 C-band transponders connected to a trans-Pacific beam. Leveraging its comprehensive coverage and high-bandwidth capability, GE-23 offers a broad range of telecom services to a diverse base of blue chip customers.

GE-23 will be integrated into the Eutelsat Communications fleet, with a smooth transition for existing customers. It will be renamed EUTELSAT 172A.

Expanding Eutelsat Communications’ Reach and Commercial Offering in Asia

The acquisition of GE-23 fits with Eutelsat’s strategy to expand its presence in the most dynamic geographic regions. The satellite brings coverage of the Asia-Pacific markets where growth is driven by a broad range of applications. It will complement Eutelsat’s organic initiatives, notably the EUTELSAT 70B satellite, equipped with a dedicated Asian beam, which is scheduled to launch in Q4 2012 (calendar).

With GE-23, Eutelsat is also acquiring a quality customer portfolio with a strong track record of contract renewals. The extended coverage also opens the way for Eutelsat to broaden its offering to its existing clients and to develop new business.

Consistent with Eutelsat Communications’ focus on value creation

The opportunity was assessed consistently with the Group’s disciplined approach to both organic and external growth opportunities. The transaction is expected to be accretive to EBITDA margin and to EPS in year 1.

It will be financed through Eutelsat’s existing liquidity. From a leverage standpoint, it will lead to a moderate increase in the Net Debt / EBITDA ratio, and will therefore have no material impact on Eutelsat’s financial flexibility.

Conference call presentation for analysts and investors

Eutelsat Communications will hold a conference call in English for analysts and investors on Tuesday June 19, 2012 starting at 6.30pm Paris time (London : 5:30pm, New York : 12:30pm). To connect please dial:

+33(0)1-76-72-89-73 (from France)
+44(0)1452-561-488 (International from outside of the U.K.)
+1-877-328-4999 (from the United States)
Access code:92168744#

Instant replay number from Tuesday June 19, 10:30pm (Paris time) to Monday June 25, 7pm (Paris time).
To connect please dial:
+44(0)1452-55-00-00 (from France and the U.K.)
+1-866-247-4222 (from the United States)
Access code:92168744#

Financial calendar

The financial calendar below is provided for information purposes only. It is subject to change and will be regularly updated. Note publication of results will be after close of market unless otherwise indicated.

July 30, 2012: earnings for the full year ended June 30, 2012
October 25, 2012: financial report for first quarter ended September 30, 2012
November 8, 2012: Annual General Shareholders Meeting

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 28 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. As of 31 March 2012, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 4,250 television channels. More than 1,100 channels are broadcast via its HOT BIRD video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East alone which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group’s satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat’s broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates access to high speed internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ just over 750 commercial, technical and operational professionals. This culturally diverse staff includes employees from 30 countries.

SpaceRef staff editor.