EchoStar to buy Telesat?
April 1, 2011
By Chris Forrester
Denver-based satellite operator EchoStar is one of the final bidders in the race to acquire Canada-based Telesat, which operates the Anik and Nimiq satellites. Charlie Ergen’s EchoStar Corporation spun off its Dish Network division in December 2007. EchoStar already supplies its set-top boxes to pay-TV broadcaster Bell TV in Canada. A decision could be announced within days.
However, EchoStar is not alone in the final bidding. Venture capital outfit Carlyle Group is also a player, say reports, although a consortium of Blackstone Group and KKR has evidently pulled out after bidding around $5 billion.
Telesat is owned by New York-based Loral Space & Communications and Canada’s giant Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and is reportedly seeking at least $6 billion for its orbiting assets.
Europe’s SES and Eutelsat have already ruled themselves out of the bidding.
Telesat is the world’s fourth-largest satellite operator and owns 12 craft, with three others under construction.