(By Balachander) Eutelsat Communications bolstered its presence in the Asia-Pacific region through the acquisition of GE-23 satellite from GE Capital for US$228 million.
The Paris-based satellite operator expects the deal to add to earnings per share and EBITDA margin in the first year following the deal.
The transaction will complement its organic initiatives, mainly the EUTELSAT 70B satellite, equipped with a dedicated Asian beam, which is scheduled to launch in fourth quarter, Eutelsat said.
GE-23, which was launched in December 2005, will be renamed EUTELSAT 172A.
From its location in geostationary orbit at 172°E, GE-23 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, Eutelsat said.
Eutelsat said the purchase will be financed through its existing liquidity. The acquisition will lead to a moderate increase in the Net Debt / EBITDA ratio from a leverage standpoint, and will therefore have no material impact on Eutelsat's financial flexibility.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2012.
As of 31 March 2012, Eutelsat's satellites were broadcasting more than 4,250 television channels.