Suitors line-up for Optus Satellite

The Australian press is full of reports as to who is likely to end up owning Singapore Telecom’s Optus Satellite fleet of 5 craft.  Hong Kong-based SingTel says it wants around $2 billion for the fleet, and there’s a deadline of June 21st for first bids to be submitted.

Private equity investors in the form of Blackstone Group, and KKR are specifically mentioned although KKR’s bid is reportedly also linked to that of Paris-based Eutelsat.

Other traditional satellite operators specifically said to be interested include SES of Luxembourg, SkyPerfect JSat of Japan, Asia Satellite Telecommunications, Australia’s NewSat and possibly London-based Inmarsat.

This 5-satellite fleet would be of considerable interest to any of the players mentioned but for Eutelsat it would give them another key asset in their goal to circle the global and grow to match the size and coverage of Intelsat and SES.

Optus’ fleet will expand when Optus 10 is launched later this year.

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