PanAmSat Expands its Global Coverage to Europe Through Acquisition of Europe*Star
Europe*Star Satellite and Slots Provide Entrée to European Market with Expansion of Services in Attractive African and Middle Eastern Regions
Wilton, CT, 19 July 2005
PanAmSat (NYSE:PA) announced today that it had signed an agreement with Alcatel, the French-based communications leader, for the acquisition of multiple European orbital slots as well as a powerful satellite with a footprint over Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As a result of this transaction, PanAmSat will substantially strengthen its presence in the European and Middle Eastern marketplaces as well as expand its global reach into key growth regions.
“PanAmSat is the largest distributor of television signals in the world and the number-one provider of HDTV channels in the U.S. but we wanted to increase our coverage in Europe. With the acquisition of Europe*Star, we can now provide our customers with more effective access and expanded services to and from the European marketplace. We also obtain critical new capacity in the Middle East and Africa, two of the fastest growing markets in the world as well as gain an entirely new customer base in that region,” said Joe Wright, CEO of PanAmSat. “In addition, we have continually stated that there are growth opportunities in our industry that provide greater value than simply launching new satellites—this is one of them. The acquisition of these strategic orbital locations coupled with the purchase of an in-orbit satellite with an established customer base is an opportunity that is very strategic and accretive. Capital-efficient, sustainable growth is what we’re after and this transaction, along with others such as the recently announced joint venture with JSAT, gives us just exactly that.”
The new PAS-12 satellite, formerly known as Europe*Star 1, will enable PanAmSat to provide a broad range of enhanced services to European customers for program distribution, broadcast contribution and enterprise networking. These potential applications include new offerings in Direct-To-Home (DTH) and high-definition television (HDTV), On-Demand satellite services, Digital Satellite News Gathering, as well as support of government satellite communications applications in Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, India and South East Asia.
Under the terms of the agreement, PanAmSat gains the right to the 45 degrees east longitude orbital slot as well as the 47.5 degrees east longitude position. Ownership of these two orbital positions significantly expands the Company’s global reach enabling access to new markets in Europe as well as Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The cost of the transaction will come out of available cash on hand and a portion of the price is deferred into 2006. PanAmSat expects that this acquisition will produce approximately $12M to $15M of incremental adjusted EBITDA on an annualized basis over the near term. This equates to approximately $0.07 to $0.09 per share of incremental free cash flow and demonstrates the Company’s most recent step in executing its strategy of investing excess cash flow in opportunities that will be accretive to its free cash flow per share.
As part of PanAmSat’s innovative growth strategy, the Company also recently entered into an agreement with Japan’s JSAT to form a joint venture to launch a new Ku-band satellite at 74 degrees west longitude to satisfy the growing demand in the U.S. market. The joint venture, Horizons-2, includes a high-powered satellite that will support everything from digital video, high-definition television (HDTV) and IP-based content distribution networks to broadband Internet and satellite news gathering services (SNG).