Macquarie expands sat-services stake
December 6, 2010
By Chris Forrester
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.