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UAE’s Yahsat to acquire majority stake in Thuraya

UAE’s Yahsat to acquire majority stake in Thuraya

Yahsat said the deal would expand its satellite portfolio in the commercial an government sectors

UAE satellite operator Yahsat has signed an agreement to purchase a majority stake in local rival Thuraya.

Yahsat, which is owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, said on Friday the deal would significantly expand its current satellite portfolio in the commercial an government sectors and its global footprint.

Thuraya, founded in 1997, has two satellites serving 140 countries. Its shareholders include UAE telco Etisalat, Abu Dhabi Investment Company, Arabsat, US plane maker Boeing, Dubai Investments and Qatari telco Ooredoo, according to its website.

Yahsat said the deal would increase its satellite fleet from three to five covering the C, Ka, Ku and L-bands over Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Asia.

“The acquisition will set Yahsat on a new phase of growth, with Thuraya bringing 20 years of innovation and experience in the mobile satellite services market along with a rich portfolio of products and services complimented by a renowned brand,” Yahsat said.

The size of the stake and value of the transaction, which is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approval, was not disclosed.

Yahsat said it would start a tender process shortly to offer current shareholders the option to participate in the sale.

The deal follows complications in the launch of Yahsat’s third satellite in January.

The company said there were some challenges during the launch that resulted in the $350m Al Yah 3 being inserted into a different orbit than the flight plan.

Read: UAE’s Yahsat says complications affect third satellite launch

Prior to Friday’s acquisition announcement, Yahsat planned to have seven satellite in operation by 2020 with plans to launch a further four on the same rocket.

Read: UAE’s Yahsat to launch four new satellites by 2020 – CEO


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