SES acquires satellite rival Intelsat for €2.8 billion

Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES has agreed to purchase rival Intelsat for €2.8 billion, after previous merger talks between the two firms fell through last year.

Andrew Wooden

April 30, 2024

2 Min Read

The announcement promises that the combined entity will create a ‘stronger multi-orbit operator’ with greater coverage, improved resiliency, expanded suite of solutions, and enhanced resources to profitably invest in innovation.

The combined fleet will encompass more than 100 Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and 26 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. By the end-2026, 8 new GEO (including 6 software-defined) satellites and 7 new MEO (O3b mPOWER) satellites are expected to be launched.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies. According to the release, the deal will deliver €2.4 billion (NPV) of synergies (85% of equity consideration) with 70% executed within 3 years after closing. Combined they have a gross backlog of €9 billion, expected annual revenue of €3.8 billion, and adjusted EBITDA of €1.8 billion. Meanwhile around 60% of revenue will be in ‘high growth segments.’

“This important, transformational agreement strengthens our business, enhances our ability to deliver world-class customer solutions, and generates significant value for our shareholders in a value accretive acquisition which is underpinned by sizeable and readily executable synergies,” said Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of SES.

“In a fast-moving and competitive satellite communication industry, this transaction expands our multi-orbit space network, spectrum portfolio, ground infrastructure around the world, go-to-market capabilities, managed service solutions, and financial profile. I am excited by the opportunity to bring together our two companies and augment SES’s own knowledge base with the added experience, expertise, and customer focus of the Intelsat colleagues.”

David Wajsgras, CEO of Intelsat added: “Over the past two years, the Intelsat team has executed a remarkable strategic reset. We have reversed a 10-year negative trend to return to growth, established a new and game-changing technology roadmap, and focused on productivity and execution to deliver competitive capabilities. The team today is providing our customers with network performance at five 9s and is more dedicated than ever to customer engagement and delivering on our commitments. This strategic pivot sets the foundation for Intelsat’s next chapter.

“By combining our financial strength and world-class team with that of SES, we create a more competitive, growth-oriented solutions provider in an industry going through disruptive change. The combined company will be positioned to meet customers’ needs around the world and exceed their expectations.”

In March last year, SES confirmed it was holding talks with Intelsat over a possible merger, substantiating rumours that originated with Bloomberg whose sources claimed that a deal could value the merged entity at north of US$10 billion including debt – a much higher figure than the deal that closed today. However in June SES announced that talks around the merger had ceased.

The transaction announced today is subject to regulatory clearances and filings and is not expected to close until the second half of 2025.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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