Macquarie expands sat-services stake

Australian investment funds managed by Macquarie have increased their holdings in the lucrative satellite and TV services sector. Various Macquarie funds already invest in UK-based Arqiva, and have just bought facilities house Ascent Media, part-owned by John Malone, which has sold its distribution business to Encompass Digital Media for $120m, including $7m of debt. Malone remains a minority shareholder in Ascent.

Financing for the Encompass deal was provided by Macquarie Capital and Tennenbaum Capital Partners. Tennebaum was already partly financing Encompass, while private equity specialists Wasserstein & Co will remain the majority owner at Encompass. Macquarie’s European Infrastructure Fund, together with other Macquarie funds, owns a significant slice of Macquarie UK Broadcast Holdings Ltd, the ultimate parent of Arqiva.

Encompass, previously known as Broadcast Facilities, is a well-known satellite services company operating out of New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, and with other facilities in London and Singapore.

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